Toronto, Ontario – Humber graduates Avery Bird and Theodor Willert will represent Canada at the 2017 WorldSkills competition in Abu Dhabi. Prior to that, they’ll be the first of the college’s alumni to participate in a pilot project called Springboard Mentorship, designed to transition college graduates into the new innovation economy.

The program will see graduates train under the guidance of a faculty member while mentoring students in Humber’s Electromechanical Engineering Technology program. The graduates will work at Magna International for two days per week to enhance their skills in an industrial setting.

The program is supported by a partnership between Humber, Magna and the Barrett Family Foundation, and seeks to support skill development of the next generation of workers for the 21st century economy.

“It is incumbent on Colleges and polytechnic institutions to discover new programs and new ways to lead and contribute to the innovation agenda” says Chris Whitaker, President, Humber. “Having the support of industry partners validates the potential of the concept we are promoting as a part of the solution to Canada’s innovation challenge, while providing students with the opportunity to continue their development.”

Bird and Willert will help current students with their faculty-led or externally driven projects, ideally leading to improved leadership and communication skills, and practical knowledge and abilities. Their work at Magna will ensure that these skills are relevant to industry.

“This program will lead to new employees with the skills to make a significant impact on our business,” says Adriana Huntington, Human Resources Manager, Magna International. “Having access to direct faculty guidance and the equipment that Humber offers will develop these much needed skilled workers and will strengthen our relationship with Humber.”

Bob Barrett, President and CEO of Polytainers said his foundation is solidly behind the initiative.  “This is the type of program that will help students develop the skills necessary for the industries of tomorrow.”


About Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning
Established in 1967, Humber is one of Canada’s leading postsecondary institutions. Committed to student success through excellence in teaching and learning, Humber serves 29,800 full-time students and 56,000 continuing education registrants. With an internationally recognized reputation for quality learning, Humber offers a wide-range of career-focused opportunities for students to personalize their educational path, including 180 full-time programs across more than 40 fields of study, 200 part-time and 60 online courses. More than four out of five of Humber graduates are employed within six months of completing their studies. Visit

For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact:
Nadia Araujo
416.675.6622 ext. 5479