GAME CHANGERS: 2017 Best Youth Employer Profile

December 5, 2017

Spring Loaded Technology

Spring Loaded Technology - Chris Cowper-SmithThe Game Changers Awards Gala recognizes exceptional Halifax businesses and Connectors who hire youth, provide meaningful experiential learning opportunities and inspire others to take action in retaining youth. This year’s gala took place on October 30. Nine awards were presented, and Spring Loaded Technology was the recipient of the Best Youth Employer Award, Medium Business Category.

Spring Loaded Technology has developed the Levitation knee brace that stores energy when the knee bends, and then releases it when the knee straightens, increasing the power of the joint. With almost half of its current staff being youth, the company understands value of employing youth. 

Chris Cowper-Smith, CEO at Spring Loaded Technology, shares how hiring youth has benefitted the company. 


What has been the biggest benefit of hiring young professionals for your business?

At Spring Loaded we are reaping the benefits of our youth hiring strategy as the company gains momentum to meet growing demand. We knew we would need a workforce that would be eager and able to keep up with the rapid growth ahead. I'm proud to say that almost half of the staff at Spring Loaded are youth, and they've certainly been able to meet and exceed the expectations of both the business, and the market.

As a Nova Scotia-based business that is committed to staying local, Spring Loaded also has a vested interest in making a positive impact on the community. A few years ago, One Nova Scotia's "Now or Never" report made the importance and the value of hiring youth clear to all of us; not just for our businesses, but for the province our businesses call home. Spring Loaded will continue to play its part to ensure that where possible, new graduates and young Nova Scotian professionals are given an opportunity to help us bring mobility and accessible bionics to people around the world.

Our goal is to reach net zero loss of youth aged 20-29, what would that mean for Halifax?  


Considering the region's historic trend of rising youth outmigration, reaching net zero loss would be an amazing accomplishment. Not only would that mean retaining the brilliant youth our post-secondary institutions are training, but it would also empower a brighter future for the province. Ultimately, it would allow Halifax’s entire population to thrive and continue to grow. We all want Nova Scotia to be a hub of intergenerational collaboration, growth, and in-migration; that starts with creating opportunities that improve our youth retention.

What does that goal mean to you?


As an Ontario expat who has chosen to build a life and a business here in Nova Scotia, I would be thrilled to see more people doing the same. This province has a lot to offer young people and I’m glad that organizations like the Halifax Partnership are working to make that known. I think Nova Scotia has a bright and promising future, and it is efforts like youth retention that will expedite our province’s population and economic growth. 

What advice do you have for businesses who are considering hiring youth?


The most important thing we look for when hiring, regardless of age, is attitude. At Spring Loaded we're always facing new challenges as we develop our technology and business.  Having dynamic young professionals who are data-driven and hungry to problem-solve and seek new, innovative solutions is vital to our success. This approach helped us build the team that introduced bionic knee braces to the world and will be instrumental in our continued growth. In our eyes, overlooking youth applicants is one of the most counterproductive things a business can do.

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CLICK HERE to learn more about the Game Changers Youth Retention Action Plan.