In 2021, co-operative education employers provided meaningful opportunities to help University of Waterloo students advance their careers — even as the impacts of the global pandemic continued. Whether they worked remotely, in-person or in a hybrid setting, students made an impact across multiple industries.

The 2021 Employer Impact Award recipients showcased an incredible ability to adapt and allowed students to work remotely around the world, to better understand the scope of a global business market and lead interesting new projects. On October 4, 2022, during the third annual Employer Impact Award virtual ceremony, Co-operative and Experiential Education (CEE) recognized the following stand-out employers:

Award Recipient Honourable mention
Impact in Innovation Martinrea International TribalScale
Impact in Sustainability York Region NVIDIA
Impact in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Lumentum American Express Canada
Impact in International Experience The Argus Group  
Impact on Student Experience Hypotenuse Labs Manulife
Impact in Research Fabrik Architects NERv Technology Inc.

Hypotenuse Labs, a startup founded by Waterloo grads, prioritizes company culture and ensures students are welcomed and supported.

Fabrik Architects, a startup founded by a Waterloo grad, provides students with opportunities to develop essential designs.

Students at York Region help to advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Martinrea International invites students to lead and develop innovative projects through both their own technical roles and larger company project management roles.

The Argus Group offers all co-op terms remotely and provides students with the opportunity to understand the Bermuda financial landscape.

Lumentum offers EDI scholarships to underrepresented students and prioritizes diversity, inclusion and belonging.

“Despite a dynamic and evolving work and political landscape, this year’s award recipients have exhibited industry excellence in providing students with quality work-integrated learning experiences,” says Norah McRae, associate provost of CEE. “As a result of these experiences, Waterloo students are better prepared for a complex future workforce.”

CEE employers provide work-integrated learning opportunities for more than 25,000 co-op students. More than 7,500 employers from more than 60 countries work with Waterloo to access student talent from the world’s largest co-op talent pool. Waterloo’s co-op and work-integrated learning programs continue to help students develop skills that make them ready to tackle the workforce.

“Waterloo co-op employers recognize the value of harnessing student talent and see many organizational benefits from the enthusiasm, innovative creativity, academic knowledge and interest in learning that students bring to the workplace,” says Ross Johnston, executive director of Co-operative Education. “Providing supportive and inclusive co-op work-related learning experiences also helps our students to find purpose, meaning and become future-ready.” 

Learn more about our winners