Congratulations to all employer’s shortlisted for the 2015 awards L-R: Michael Hanrahan, petroforma laboratories; Jim Lynch, Commissionaires Newfoundland & Labrador; Cynthia Crosbie, NLEC Board Chair; Allan Cramm, Anaconda Mining; the Hon. Judy Foote, Federal Minister of Public Services & Procurement; Terry Hussey, Vigilant Management; Alice Kennedy, Eastern Health; Robin Walters, College of the North Atlantic.

The Employer of Distinction Award recognizes successful employers in Newfoundland Labrador who demonstrate leadership in the community, productivity and innovation, and a fundamental belief in the value of a healthy, safe, and motivated workforce.

An Employer of Distinction doesn’t just succeed. An Employer of Distinction views its employees and the community in which it operates as vital to that success.
2015 Employers of Distinction – petroforma laboratories and College of the North Atlantic

petroforma laboratories are the largest commercial lab in NL, staffed by over 20 scientists who make up their gender balanced, culturally diverse workforce. Founded in 2008, petroforma provides specialized analytical and testing services to the oil & gas, fish harvesting/processing, mining, pulp & paper, environmental, and government sectors throughout Atlantic Canada. In 2015, after two years of implementation, petroforma became the first lab in NL to receive national accreditation for testing drinking water quality. Employee wellness is a primary focus of this growing organization. In conjunction with their expansive health and EAP plans, petroforma are currently transitioning to a new location which will have a large gym, quiet rooms, and even a small dog park so employees can visit their pets on breaks. These initiatives are a major reason they enjoyed less than 5% turnover in the past three years.

College of the North Atlantic are one of the largest post-secondary education and skills training centers in Atlantic Canada. CNA operate 17 campus locations throughout NL, a technical college for the State of Qatar and offer curriculum at universities in China. In NL they offer nearly 100 full-time program offerings and more than 300 part-time courses for some 25,000 students each year. CNA’s strategic alignment with industry is leading to focused curriculum development to suit current labour market needs and to anticipate the board trends. This may be one of the major driving forces behind their 8.3% increase in enrollment in 2015. Recent employee satisfaction survey results yielded an 88.5% score among all employees, an increase of nearly 3% from the year prior.

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Application Process & Award Criteria

The Employer of Distinction awards is comprised of a two part nomination process. The initial short nomination form provides basic information about the company’s performance in the following five categories:
  • Workplace & Atmosphere

  • Health & Safety Practices

  • Community Presence

  • Productivity & Innovation

  • Corporate Responsibility

The short form also provides detail used to determine in which category the organization will be placed (Small/Medium & Large)*.
If the nominated organization scores at least 80% in the initial nomination form, it will be short-listed for the Employer of Distinction award.
Short listed organizations then have approximately one month to complete a more in-depth form providing the judges with more information used to evaluate the company’s performance in the same five categories


To be eligible for the Employer of Distinction Award, organizations must be a member in good standing of the NL Employers' Council at the time of submission of the in-depth questionnaire.
Past Employer of Distinction winners are eligible and encouraged to re-apply for the award five years after the year in which they won. For example, winners from 2010 and earlier are eligible to apply for 2016.


Final questionnaires are evaluated by a three person independent judging panel.
*The judging panel will have the sole discretion to utilize the format of two categories (Small/Medium & Large) or three categories (Small, Medium & Large), based on the composition of the applications received.

Previous Employer's of Distinction

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