Red River College instructor Linda Ament accepted a prestigious honour on behalf of General Mills Winnipeg recently, after the company was named Employer of the Year at the Manitoba Food Processors Association’s Industry Excellence Awards.
The award was based on a wide range of criteria, including General Mills’ employee relations, training, communications, continuous improvement, labour relations, and compensation and benefits practices. Ament (shown, bottom right), who serves as Human Resources Manager at GM’s Winnipeg plant, says the honour comes at an especially important time in the company’s evolution.
“We’ve gone through a huge transition over the last year, because we’ve expanded our product line,” says Ament, who’s been an RRC instructor for more than 30 years (she started while still a student). “We were a Canadian company — and marketed only in Canada — but now we’ve started marketing into the U.S. This is a very big launch for us, and we’ve put a tremendous amount of effort into preparing for that.”
Over the decades, Ament has taught a range of business and human resources classes for RRC’s School of Continuing and Distance Education, drawing on her wealth of work experience with some of the highest-profile companies in Canada and the U.S. She’s also taught at a number of post-secondary institutions, but counts RRC students as her favourites, noting their practicality make them a perfect fit for her brand of industry-informed instruction.
“I tell them stories from the field — from the trenches — and we talk about situations that I’ve encountered, ways in which we’ve dealt with things,” she says. “I find that students want that hands-on experience. They’re here to become practitioners themselves, and if their instructor doesn’t have an industry background, they question credibility.”