Career Colleges Ontario strikes independent task force to hire new chief executive officer (CEO)

Career Colleges Ontario strikes independent task force to hire new chief executive officer (CEO)

BRANTFORD, Apr. 22, 2021 – It is with deep appreciation and admiration for their performance in their position that the association has accepted the resignation of its Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Conway. 

Chris played a critical role in the association’s success since joining the organization in December, 2018. His leadership in government relations, committee work, and staff administration have guided the association to better identify and meet the expectations of CCO members. Because of his deep-rooted commitment to the career college sector and its members, CCO finds itself in a stronger position to fulfil its mission to advocate for the equitable treatment of career colleges and their students.

We would also like to congratulate Chris on his exciting new role as the incoming CEO of Food and Beverage Ontario, an organization dedicated to advancing the interests of Ontario’s food and beverage processors.

To begin its search for a new chief executive officer, the association is engaging a third-party recruitment firm, which will be supported by an external task force consisting of career college professionals and led by former Executive Director Paul Kitchin. The third-party firm and task force will guarantee a transparent and independent candidate selection process.

CCO’s board of directors will then interview the candidates that the task force presents. Following these interviews, the board will elect a successful candidate for the position.

About Career Colleges Ontario

Career Colleges Ontario (CCO) is a not-for-profit association that was established in 1973 to advocate on behalf of career colleges in the province of Ontario. The association’s purpose is to help governments, key decision-makers and the public understand the critical role its members and their students play in supporting Ontario’s post-secondary education system and improving the province’s economic well-being. CCO’s members contribute to Ontario’s economy by providing highly qualified graduates in hundreds of essential, skilled fields such as Applied Arts, Business, Healthcare, Human Services, Information Technology, Services and Trades.

Media Contact:
Dyson Wells
Marketing and Communications Officer

What we’ve achieved since 2018:

Swift response to COVID-19

Throughout the province’s healthcare crisis CCO has worked tirelessly to support members wherever possible.

  • Assisted colleges with the sudden transition to online classes
  • Pivoted member communications to keep you informed on the ever-shifting situation
  • Developed a guideline to reopening Ontario’s career colleges upon the approval of health authorities
  • Developed an on-campus checklist and signage to assist staff in establishing a safe campus environment
  • Modernized our Financial Aid Office to work remotely and ensure your students’ applications continue to be processed in an expedient and timely manner

Training for post-COVID careers – Second Career Program
CCO delivered recommendations to improve the Second Career program to address the increased demand brought on by COVID-19. As a result, the province is reworking the Second Career program to support workers laid off due to COVID‑19 by making it easier for them to retrain and upgrade their skills.

Giving our members a seat at the table
Presenting to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs as part of the government’s 2019 Pre-Budget Consultations, emphasizing the vast potential career colleges bring to the table in aligning the skills of Ontario’s new workers with the province’s market demand and labour shortages.

Educating government on the value of your institution
Met with more than 90 MPPs and participated in countless political events to raise awareness of career colleges, their needs, and the opportunities they provide in solving the province’s economic and workforce challenges. Our government relations team has also met with key Ministers, including the Minister of Colleges and Universities, the Minister of Training, and the Premier of Ontario.

Fighting for a level playing field for you and your students
Amended the Employment Standards Act to allow employers to offer unpaid internships to students, regardless of whether they attend a community or career college. Previously, only community college students were eligible for unpaid internships, which placed career college students at a significant disadvantage.

Cutting costly red tape
Advocated for and achieved the following recent changes concerning the collection of international student fees: Remove the requirement for private career colleges to establish a trust account to hold fees paid by or on behalf of international students in vocational programs. Remove the 25 per cent fee limit that private career colleges may charge and collect from international students before students begin training.

Expanding our reach

Career Colleges Ontario became an active participant in the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Toronto Board of Trade, and the Mississauga Board of Trade. As members of these organizations, CCO can raise issues of importance to the career college sector and advocate that these organizations include recommendations for the benefit of the sector in the boards’ submission documents. These submission documents are influential to policy decision-makers and government responsible for regulating Ontario’s career college sector.



Shennel Lobrick

Anderson College

News and Events

Statement by Career Colleges Ontario on the imposed cap on study permits

Career Colleges Ontario (CCO) represents a vast network of over 280 regulated career college campuses across Ontario. These colleges have been integral to Ontario’s post-secondary […]

Read More

CCO Affiliates