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Leder student Emma Newhook interns with Organic Alberta as an Organic Week Coordinator

Leder Students Bring Solutions to the City During Construction in Internal Case Competition

Our internal case competition this year focused on the loss to businesses due to city construction. We partnered with the City of Edmonton to create a case where our students could come up with solutions for the City of Edmonton and small businesses around the city to manage the loss they face when there is construction.

As a frequent small business visitor, I often see a blocked road or lots of construction and it immediately turns me in the opposite direction. Often times I don’t even bother trying to get to the final location if there is lots of construction. So, the city and small businesses wondered, how we can come up with a solution to aid small businesses who are struggling due to the lengthy construction time periods.

Seven teams were formed, and they got to work interviewing businesses, looking at other cities who have programs in place to reduce the impact on small businesses, and creating a solution. All the teams had awesome ideas, but one team truly had a good understanding of a way to mitigate the impact. Faith Carnegie, Diquita Cardinal, Jenae Charlebois, and Deserinque Ricketts, decided on creating a Construction Mitigation Program. This would involve having communication and public meetings so that construction workers, business owners, and customers could have a voice in what would help to minimize construction disruption. The program would also include free advertising around the city for particular businesses in construction zones. A few more perks to the program would be partnering with underground parkades to provide additional free parking, street art, and grants for businesses facing long term construction. Finally, the program would have program liaisons who would be in charge of communicating with the businesses to keep updated on the struggles they are facing and find ways in attempt to resolve the issues.

It is great to have the opportunity for our students to help solve, real-life and current issues. A big thank you to the City of Edmonton for partnering with us and a congrats to all the teams who came out and participated. We are looking forward to what next year’s case might bring!

Jun 21, 2018

Emma Newhook/ Organic Week Coordinator works at Organic Alberta.

"This job is preparing me for my future career because it is giving me a chance to understand how the not-for-profit sector runs and the keys to success. Learning the different software is helping me build knowledge for my future career. 

The most challenging part of my job so far is getting the retailers to actively want to be a part of Organic Week events. Most of them say they are interested, but they don't take any further steps. It gives me a chance to work on my communication skills as well as persuasion skills.

The top three things I look forward to doing in my internship is, first, seeing the overall final product of my work (amount I raised!); second, to learn and grow with this organization; and lastly, to visit retailers on site and get to know how they run events in their store. 

My favorite thing about work so far is the PEOPLE. I have amazing co-workers. It's a fairly small office, so I already feel like I know them so well." 

Organic Week will return for its ninth annual celebration September 8 to 16, 2018!

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