Since 1999, George Storms and his wife Tammy, along with sons Dwayne, Steven have been operating Pure County Bottled Water, creating a very successful family- based local business selling and delivering bulk water deliveries, ice and bottled water throughout Prince Edward County.
The Storms have helped to inspire a number of students learn employment skills as long-time perennial participants in Prince Edward Collegiate Institute’s Co-Operative Education program. The Co-Operative Education program, overseen by Matt Ronan and teachers Todd Morsette and Hilary Ann Clarke, seeks out potential employers in the County who are willing to accommodate co-operative education students with work placements where they can gain work experience and explore potential career pathways.
Originally developed as a response to a job shortage in the County in 1988, Pure County Bottled Water has built a business based on providing excellent customer service and the timely delivery of product.
Entering the business, one can find George, Tammy or any of the other employees greeting you with a smile while taking care of your needs.
And for the past six years, there will mostly likely be a Cooperative Education student in the building, working as part of the team at Pure County.
George and Tammy have been long time willing participants in PECI’s Cooperative Education Program, and have worked with numerous students over the past six years. A unique aspect of the work atmosphere at Pure County is it provides students with a personal family-like space where Co-op students are guided, mentored and trained by all members of the team at Pure County.
“It’s been a learning experience for both employer and employee,” George Storms said.
Students learn about how a small business operates and in doing so, develop the work habits, responsibilities and customer service skills necessary to not only help Pure County run, but also to prepare for a career in the workforce after high school. Often, if a student performs well, it leads to summer employment at Pure County.
If it does not, then the co-op student has learned valuable employment skills in a workplace setting and perhaps has a better understanding of what potential career path he or she will pursue.
“One of the biggest benefits to the co-op experience is that it gives students a chance to ‘try out’ different occupations before they actually have to go to college or university and find out they may not have made the right choice,” Morsette added
For all your bottled water needs, contact Pure County Water at 613 476-1376; to inquire about a potential Co-op placement, call Prince Edward District Collegiate Institute at 613 476-2196.
-Submitted by Todd Morsette