Stirling MacLean and his business, WearWell Garments Limited, have been part of the fabric of Pictou County for a long time. But he’s a huge proponent of new talent and businesses building the local economy.
“That’s what we really need. We need young entrepreneurs to set up shop here. We need new ideas and new approaches,” says Stirling, President of the family business, which he founded 40 years ago.
The Stellarton-based company recently donated $6,000 to help students at NSCC Pictou Campus, through Make Way – The Campaign for NSCC.
Stirling points to recent figures, showing 87 per cent of NSCC graduates are employed in their field, and 92 per cent are working in Nova Scotia.
“It’s OUR community college. By helping people on their NSCC journey, we hope to contribute to that talent pool,” he says.
The Make Way Campaign supports students at all NSCC campuses and learning sites across the province, mainly through financial aid, such as scholarships, bursaries, urgent aid and extraordinary learning opportunities, as well as innovative programming, leading-edge instructional equipment and Centres of Expertise.
Funds raised locally — at Pictou Campus, for instance — stay in the community to address local priorities.
WearWell ships garments across North America from its 40,000-square-foot production and distribution facility. The company is a full-line manufacturer and supplier of work apparel for institutional, promotional and corporate markets.
Rick Feehan, the company’s Vice President, Finance, has a personal connection to NSCC that motivated him to make a personal gift of $3,000 toward student aid at Pictou Campus.
His stepson and his daughter both received university degrees before attending the college for specialized diplomas that have launched their careers in electronics and ocean mapping, respectively.
“Those NSCC diplomas have had a big impact on their lives,” says Rick.
He also views the campus as a community hub, where he has played basketball, attended meetings and, last summer, helped organize a cultural exchange between the MacGregor Kinsman Midget AAA baseball team and their peers from Okotoks, AB.
“NSCC is there for the people in our community,” says Rick, a member of the Make Way Community Appeal at Pictou Campus. “Without the community college, where do we get trained mechanics, hairdressers, LPNs, bookkeepers?”
He hopes his donation will help aspiring NSCC students for whom a little means a lot.
“It’s good to know they now have a place to turn, through Make Way. I hope it enables people to make a change.”