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Bluedrop Has Wind in Its Jib: Numerous Contracts and the Launch of a ‘Skills for Hire’ Program with Digital Nova Scotia so Far this Year

By Henry Kronk
July 07, 2019

Bluedrop Performance Learning Inc., the biggest and longest-lived eLearning export from The Rock (a.k.a. the Canadian island Newfoundland) has been snapping up defense contracts left and right. Earlier this year, it made its first American sale. On July 4th, it announced it had partnered with Digital Nova Scotia and received a $2.5 million grant to launch the “Skills for Hire” program to train Maritimes citizens for jobs in information and communications technology (ICT).

The company was reportedly founded way back in 1992 by Emad Rizkallah, who currently serves as CEO, in St. Johns, Newfoundland. Their initial offerings consisted of defense training courseware and online training. They have since expanded to include simulations and offerings in healthcare and business.

Bluedrop Specializes in Defense Courseware and Simulations

In 2011, the company conducted a reverse takeover of the Vancouver-based Serebra Learning Corporation, which also specialized in defense and aerospace online training. Today, Bluedrop Performance Learning acts as a holding company for two divisions: Bluedrop Learning Networks and Bluedrop Training and Simulations.

The latter of these has recently made a name for itself in creating military training simulations. Earlier this year, the company made their first U.S. sale. The company’s VR Hoist Simulator was purchased by Logistic Services International, a Florida-based company acting on behalf of the U.S. Air Force.

The sale comes alongside numerous other contracts signed with Boeing involving a variety of the aircraft the company manufactures. They have also been contracted to develop ship building courseware, a “vehicle crew gunnery simulation,” and more.

Partnering with Digital Nova Scotia to Bring Workforce Training to the Maritimes

The company’s latest initiative has sought to reinvest in skilling their neighbors. Based in St. Johns, Bluedrop also has offices in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Fredericton, New Brunswick; Ottawa, Ontario; and Vancouver. This month, they announced they would be partnering with Digital Nova Scotia to launch their Skills for Hire initiative.

Skills for Hire will provide online training and support for Nova Scotians in ICT fields for now. There are plans to expand to Newfoundland and Labrador in the near term. To provide the training, the partners have secured a CDN $2.5 million grant from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

“Addressing the ICT skills gap requires bold ideas and a multi-faceted approach – it is encouraging to have ESDC invest in research initiatives such as Skills for Hire and I am confident that the program’s success will benefit our ICT sector,” said Bluedrop CEO and Founder in a statement.

“The exponential growth of the ICT sector and its fast-paced global impact, continue to be a significant differentiator for our industry, country and province,” said Digital Nova Scotia President and CEO Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia in a release. “In Nova Scotia, we are fortunate to have a magnitude of innovative and forward-thinking post-secondary institutions. This program is designed to complement their commendable efforts and support the skills gap, while allowing participants to build sustainable, life-changing and rewarding careers here at home. It will also enable us to upskill our workforce with technical and non-technical skills to meet the rapidly rising demand for talent, and have a deep impact on our industry. Digital Nova Scotia is proud and honored to partner with ESDC and Bluedrop on this important, innovative and strategic project.”

Featured Image: Ryan Card, Unsplash.