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RRC Polytech announces James (Jamie) Wilson as the institution’s new Vice-President, Indigenous Strategy and Business Development

November 22, 2021

The new executive role will enable the Polytechnic to partner with Manitoba’s Indigenous communities, businesses, and entrepreneurs to make progress on RRC Polytech’s new strategic plan.

Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Treaty No. 1 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis Nation – Today, RRC Polytech is taking an important step towards fulfilling the commitments within its 2022 – 2026 Strategic Plan: In Front of What’s Ahead, by establishing a new executive position under the leadership of Jamie Wilson (Opaskwayak Cree Nation) to guide this significant and transformational work for the College.

Wilson is a visionary leader with a passion for building bridges between communities and organizations, strengthening relationships with Indigenous Peoples, and creating opportunities for community and social development that lead towards economic opportunity and prosperity. 

“This is an area of significant importance for RRC Polytech, and we were fortunate to recruit Jamie to this new role. His experience and background will bring the vision and leadership we need to strengthen this work and advance our strategic commitments,” said Fred Meier, President & CEO, RRC Polytech.

In addition to leading on Indigenous strategy, Wilson will take on the responsibility for business development at RRC Polytech, focusing on deepening and expanding the College’s relationship with business and employers to solve their greatest needs and drive positive outcomes for their growth and success.

“Our future economic prosperity and the growth of our labour market in Manitoba is inextricably linked to the success of our Indigenous communities and the province. This new role is essential for RRC Polytech to put everything we do through that lens to identify new opportunities for partnership and growth,” said Meier.

With a background as a Deputy Minister (Growth, Enterprise and Trade; Education), educator, a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment, an Infantry officer and as Manitoba’s Treaty Commissioner, Wilson is uniquely positioned to lead this new portfolio.

“This is an important role at RRC Polytech, and I look forward to bringing my experiences to help shape this essential work and drive innovation in our processes and approach. The path that RRC Polytech has committed to has put them in the right place at the right time to grow to make meaningful progress towards the TRC Calls to Action and economic reconciliation through increased partnerships with Indigenous students, businesses and communities,” said Jamie Wilson, Vice-President, Indigenous Strategy and Business Development, RRC Polytech.

Partnerships are the core of the College’s success. They enable RRC Polytech to extend its resources, leverage the strengths of our partners, accelerate progress in innovation and research, and expand our reach. This new role will enable RRC Polytech to do more and play a more significant role in creating positive outcomes and opportunities throughout the province.

“RRC Polytech’s ability to co-design solutions to complex industry challenges is something I have witnessed from both business and government roles. I am keen to be a part of the team that continues and builds on this important work for Manitoba,” said Wilson.

Wilson will join RRC Polytech in this new role starting January 3, 2022.

RRC Polytech’s Innovation Centre project receives Indigenous name that inspires hope and light

November 10, 2021

Name paves way for Indigenous reclamation in the spirit of community, collaboration and reconciliation

Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Treaty No. 1 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis Nation – Today, Red River College Polytechnic (RRC Polytech) announced a new Indigenous name in Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) for its newest building at the Exchange District Campus.

Formerly known as the Innovation Centre project, RRC Polytech officially opened its doors to Manitou a bi Bii daziigae, which translates to where creator sits (Manitou a bi) and brings light (Bii daziigae).

The Elders-in-Residence of RRC Polytech, Elder Paul Guimond, Okonace (Little Eagle Bone) from Sagkeeng First Nation, and Miss Una Swan, Black Eagle Woman, from Fisher River Cree Nation, held a pipe ceremony this morning during the official opening in the public agora for the new 100,000 square-foot space to bring spirit and life to the name, introduce the name to the RRC Polytech community, as well as to honour traditional sacred ceremony. 

Elders-in-Residence
“We’re in a time of beautiful change to bring that light – that hope, and I think if we can bring the spirit of that name into that building, maybe we’ll be able to take that step ahead and walk with it,” said Elder Paul Guimond.

“The new building is so unique. It’s powered by nature. Much like how we live, powered by nature and the sun. The sun is such a beautiful spirit; it brings warmth, it brings growth, it brings light, it brings hope. Without that sun there is no life. And if you look at the new building; it’s all powered by the sun. It’s just a matter of now respecting it and giving it the name that it needs to guide that spirit. It’s a building, but it has spirit. It’s going to bring that positive spirit in the minds and the realm of all people. I think there’s an opportunity to give a name to something that’s going to give us life, that’s going to give us hope. And I hope the name will serve its purpose, and I’m glad that opportunity is there.”

Indigenous knowledge, teachings and traditions were prioritized in the design and creation of the building to ensure Indigenous students, staff and community were represented through art by Anishinabee artist Jackie Traverse and Cree/British artist KC Adams and more; functionality for ceremony with ventilated spaces, including the 210-seat Roundhouse Auditorium; and the intention for inclusive spaces to connect and collaborate.

“To me, it means it’s a place where the spirit lives, where there’s light, where it’s progressive, forward thinking. You walk into the building and you feel the energy there. It’s so positive and it represents new beginnings and forward-thinking ideas that were not thought of before,” said Miss Una Swan. “Everything Indigenous people would have wanted done for this building has been done. All the material that could have been used from the old building was reused, it’s run by the sun. It epitomizes the Indigenous community here in Manitoba. So we’re very excited and proud about this building. You walk in there, you know, it’s an Indigenous building.”

“I thought that it represented transparency, because there’s so many windows in the building where you can see other areas, it’s wide open, there’s four levels, which speaks to me because of the four directions, and then they have two rooms that are round and ventilated so that we can invite people to have ceremonies or have drum practice. So we really want to enjoy it, invite the community into the building and making it a community place.”

Consultation and Process
The Elders-in-Residence were first approached and offered tobacco to begin a traditional naming process for the newest building at the Exchange District Campus, known previously as the Innovation Centre Project, a hub for technology, collaboration and connection. Both Elders utilized their own traditional ceremonial protocols for this process as their teachings instruct, given to them by their Elders and Spiritual Guides. They were also given tours of the building to help them inform an appropriate name.

“The new name presented by Elder Paul Guimond and Miss Una Swan represents a new beginning and reflects the space and history where the building stands. Having this name that has so much depth and meaning really grounds us in the pursuit of the building’s mission to spark transformation, ingenuity and collaboration between students and industry,” said Fred Meier, President and CEO, RRC Polytech.

“This name honours the heritage of where we live, represents the work and learning that will occur inside, and serves as a powerful inspiration to continue in our commitment to embedding truth and reconciliation in everything we do. The building will house some of our most transformative and cutting-edge Indigenous Education programs, and we hope that the many layers of this building – from the artwork, to inclusive spaces, to the name, contributes to Indigenous student and community inclusion and success, and empowers them on their education journey. Working alongside our Elders during this process has been so wonderful and encompasses what we intend with Manitou a bi Bii daziigae.”

Name and Meaning
The new name Manitou a bi Bii daziigae translates to where creator sits (Manitou a bi) and brings light (Bii daziigae).

The first part of the name, Manitou a bi, signifies the importance of where the building is in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in Treaty No 1. The meaning of “where creator sits” has a few reasons for its deeper meaning by honouring the unique history of how Indigenous peoples came to meet and gather in the Winnipeg area on the converging rivers, as well as a representation of the diverse cultures and spiritually of Indigenous peoples. It’s our home. It drives innovation from the centre outward. It also means creators of light that connects and represents many facets of Bii daziigae.

The second part of the name, Bii daziigae, describes the purpose, intent, functionality, and beauty of the new space. “Bringing the light” is about the building’s aim to bring students, staff, community and business together to collaborate, bring new ideas, solve problems, future think, and utilize and create the newest technology. It signifies bringing in a new era of hope with the renewed commitment to pursuing truth and reconciliation in everything at RRC Polytech. It also represents the building’s solar energy and sustainability efforts, as well as the natural light that pours through the many windows and main open agora, which inspired the Elders. 

“Manitou a bi Bii daziigae, a place where the creator sits to the place that brings light. It’s a very spiritual name. We have to have faith; we have to believe that it’s in the spirit of that name that we’re going to be guided,” said Guimond. “Reconciliation is going to be happening in that in that space without even knowing it.”

“There’s just so many things that this word encompasses. The first part and the second part; it’s not just the name, it’s what those words represent. It represents all of those good, positive things.” said Swan. “It also represents truth and reconciliation era that we’re in right now. It’s a building that really honours the Indigenous community of this territory and everything that any Indigenous leaders and community people have always wanted has been done with this building.”

The Bigger Picture
The building project was announced in 2017 with a $40.6 million commitment of support from the Government of Canada through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (PSI-SIF) and Government of Manitoba support through a loan of up to $54.8 million. By bringing more than 1,200 additional staff and students to the area per day, the space will help the College create jobs, expand research opportunities to work with Indigenous entrepreneurs, and foster pathways for education and careers for Indigenous learners.

“Our government is proud to support Manitou a bi Bii daziigae and the many opportunities it will create, including new academic options for First Nation, Inuit and Métis students across the province, and access to the technology and innovation that a polytechnic has to offer. Partnerships with entrepreneurs and businesses will provide new avenues to explore, while promoting economic growth and continued revitalization and expansion to the heart of Winnipeg,” said the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.

“This name, that pays respect to Indigenous languages and heritage, combined with the intent and purpose of this new building, will be a beacon of inspiration of our shared journey of reconciliation. During my time as a social worker at a Winnipeg Indigenous family resource centre, I know the importance of prioritizing Indigenous places and programs. I want to thank RRC Polytech on their contribution and commitment to supporting Indigenous students and the broader community.”

The programs and opportunities that will take place within the space are also designed as part of RRC Polytech’s commitment to the province’s Skills, Talent and Knowledge strategy.

“The Province of Manitoba is honoured to be a part of this momentous occasion, and to partner with RRC Polytech in the opening of Manitou a bi Bii daziigae. Full participation of Indigenous people in Manitoba’s economy is critical to improving quality of life and to building a stronger social and economic fabric in our province,” said the Honourable Wayne Ewasko, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration for the Province of Manitoba. “The intention for RRC Polytech to collaborate with Indigenous communities, entrepreneurs and students within this space is essential – as a province we are committed to the role education and training plays in reconciliation.”

“The opening of RRC Polytech’s Manitou a bi Bii daziigae is a significant milestone for our city’s downtown,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “Winnipeg was recently named the World’s Most Intelligent Community thanks to the efforts of important stakeholders like RRC Polytech. Part of this global recognition was because of our city’s commitment to innovation and reconciliation. As a partner to Winnipeg’s Indigenous Accord, RRC Polytech is continuing to take meaningful action on our community’s journey of reconciliation.”

Some spaces within and around Manitou a bi Bii daziigae have been generously supported by the Red River College Students’ Association, Wawanesa Mutual Insurance, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, Informanix Technology Group, Fortinet, and the Children’s Education Funds. RRC Polytech is proud to work with its donor community to enhance its learning spaces and create more opportunities for its students.

To learn more about the space, please visit: rrc.ca/edc/manitou-a-bi-bii-daziigae/

Lights, camera, convocation! RRC Polytech celebrates largest fall Virtual Convocation Ceremony

November 2, 2021

Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Treaty No. 1 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis Nation   – The Red River College Polytechnic community gathers virtually today to celebrate the College’s largest fall convocation, and the first class to graduate since Red River College embraced its new identity as RRC Polytech.

1,400 students will become graduates at today’s online ceremony, representing every RRC Polytech school and campus across the province, as well as international students from across the globe.

Earlier this October, Manitoba’s largest college unveiled a bold new strategic direction and embraced its identity as Manitoba’s polytechnic by bringing that word into its name, as Red River College Polytechnic, or RRC Polytech. The new name signals a stronger focus on strategic workforce development, applied research, and more flexible learning options that aim to keep Manitobans ahead by transforming disruption into opportunity.

“Today we mark a momentous occasion, both in the lives of our graduates and in the history of RRC Polytech. As our post-secondary institution embraces its strengths in polytechnic education by embarking on a new strategic plan, our graduates stand ready to thrive in a new world of work: one that needs their unique skills and knowledge like never before,” said Fred Meier, RRC Polytech President and CEO.

“Employers continue to embrace and adopt new technologies, industrial processes and economic and social realities as they emerge from the pandemic. RRC Polytech stands ready to lead and support our partners to seize the opportunities. Our institution is always one step ahead, and that means our graduates are, too. They are ready – now – to pivot, adapt, and create solutions that position Manitoba at the leading edge of innovation.”

The Fall 2021 Virtual Convocation Ceremony will feature messages from speakers across the College and province, including:

  • Fred Meier, President and CEO;
  • Dr. Christine Watson, Vice-President, Academic and Research;
  • Loren Cisyk, Chair of RRC Polytech Board of Governors;
  • The Honourable Wayne Ewasko, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration;
  • Mandeep Sidhu, Vice President Internal, Red River College Students’ Association;
  • Jared Akman, Director of Operations at Akman Construction, 2008 graduate of the Structural Engineering Technology program;
  • Orycia Karpa, Communications Coordinator at Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada, 2020 graduate of the Creative Communications program;
  • Deans, Chairs, Coordinators and Faculty from across the College; and
  • Graduating students from the first graduating class of RRC Polytech

“Earning an academic credential is an important milestone — especially from programs like ours that have so much potential to shape the future of our businesses and communities,” said Dr. Christine Watson, VP Academic and Research, RRC Polytech. 

“We are so proud of what today’s graduates have accomplished, and proud of what their talent will tell the world about where they studied. Learning is a lifelong journey, and RRC Polytech is ready to walk beside them every step of the way.”

Graduates are encouraged to join in the celebrations online by taking photos and sharing them on social media by tagging Red River College Polytechnic (@redrivercollege) and using the hashtag RRC Polytech Alumni (#rrcalumni).  Graduates may also purchase lawn signs at the Campus Store. 

RRC Polytech’s Fall 2021 Virtual Convocation Ceremony will stream on Facebook Live today, Tuesday, November 2, 2021 at 3:00pm. For a full list of graduates, award winners, and to stream the ceremony please visit rrc.ca/convocation.

RRC Polytech Style Guide

October 7, 2021

RRC Polytech is the evolution of Red River College – embracing the unique education, training and partnerships it offers to Manitoba. To learn more about the recent evolution, and to view its new five-year strategic plan In Front of What’s Ahead visit the RRC Polytech site.

When referring to our institution, the abbreviated name RRC Polytech* should be used in nearly all circumstances.

More information on versions of our identity and when to use them can be found in our Brand Book (scroll to the very bottom under the heading of “Corporate Name”).

Please do not use the following:
Red River College Polytech
RRC Polytechnic
Red River Polytech
Red River College Poly
RRCP
OR any other combination of the aforementioned

*Please note: it is acceptable to refer to RRC Polytech as ‘the College’ in subsequent mentions as well.

If you have any questions, please email CollegeRelations@rrc.ca

Introducing RRC Polytech

October 5, 2021

RRC embraces bold new identity and plan to support recovery, innovation, and growth

Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Treaty No. 1 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis Nation – Today, the province’s largest college has unveiled a bold new strategic direction and will embrace its identity as Manitoba’s polytechnic by bringing that word into its name, as Red River College Polytechnic, or RRC Polytech.

For RRC Polytech to continue to grow as the post-secondary institution that Manitoba needs today, and into the future, we are redefining ourselves. This will enable RRC Polytech to continue to modernize apprenticeship training and expand in areas that are hallmarks of a polytechnic education – applied research and work-integrated learning – which allow students to seamlessly transition from the classroom to their careers.

Embracing this new identity recognizes RRC Polytech’s evolution into a unique kind of post-secondary institution that blends deep, theoretical learning with applied, hands-on experience, and highlights the important role our graduates will play in growing Manitoba’s economy as our province recovers from the pandemic and looks to the future.

“For more than 80 years, Red River College Polytechnic has been a driving force to keep our province moving forward – economically, socially and culturally – by working on the cusp of what Manitoba needs now, and as we look towards the future,” said Honourable Wayne Ewasko, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration, Province of Manitoba.

“With this new identity and strategic direction, RRC Polytech is well-positioned to continue to meet the goals of the Skills, Talent and Knowledge Strategy – which provides an important framework for post-secondary institutions to prepare students for in-demand, good jobs, while accelerating our economic recovery and growth.”

The term polytechnic is used around the world to identify institutions who focus on strategic workforce development, applied research, and offer a variety of credentials from micro-credentials to bachelor degrees. The polytechnic model enables us to build on our strong foundation as a post-secondary institution and grow and expand our current offerings.

For students, a polytechnic education means more choices, flexible options, and opportunities to gain highly sought-after skills – at the start of their career or anywhere along the way.

For employers and industry partners, it means a pipeline to top Manitoba talent and a direct hand in developing a workforce that meets their current and future needs. It also means expanding partnerships and applied research collaborations to help position employers at the forefront of innovation and growth.

“Sectors across Manitoba continue to experience disruption at a faster and more frequent pace than ever before. This quickened pace demands an urgent and agile response, and RRC Polytech is perfectly positioned meet the emerging needs of our students and of the workforce they are entering,” said Fred Meier, President and CEO, RRC Polytech.

“The polytechnic model best describes not only who we are, but where we are going. Aligning our new identity and strategic direction lays a strong foundation to be bold, to continue to take important leaps, and it allows us to play the larger role we need to in Manitoba’s post-secondary ecosystem. It puts us in the right place, at the right time, to stay in front of what’s ahead.”

RRC Polytech Strategic Plan 2022-2026: In Front of What’s Ahead

This new mission, vision, and direction for RRC Polytech was influenced by thousands of stakeholders and community partners who participated in the creation of the new five-year Strategic Plan: In Front of What’s Ahead.  This plan provides a roadmap for how these commitments will position Manitoba’s polytechnic to respond to what our province needs next.

RRC Polytech’s Commitments are:

  1. Transform our learning models to meet emerging needs.
  2. Commit to Truth and Reconciliation. Pursue Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in everything we do.
  3. Deepen partnerships to maximize prosperity across industry and community.

Staying in front of what’s ahead requires RRC Polytech to align efforts across all priorities. These commitments ensure RRC Polytech can continue to meet the evolving needs of industry, employers and communities, by shaping the future of learning, building the collaborations that drive shared outcomes, and deconstructing colonial and biased assumptions that have broken trust in post-secondary education, employment, and administration.
 
This new strategic plan will cement RRC Polytech’s unique position in Manitoba’s post-secondary eco-system and will guide our work in a measurable way as we move forward.

“Across every industry and sector, jobs are changing, technology is evolving, and responding to disruption in new and innovative ways has become the new normal,” said Bram Strain, President and CEO, Business Council of Manitoba.

“As a diverse group of leaders of companies who are committed to Manitoba’s economic growth and community development, we rely on RRC Polytech as a valued partner to provide a talented and multifaceted pool of graduates who can anticipate the needs of today, and who can look to the future of what our business community will need tomorrow – in order to stay competitive.”

For more information about RRC Polytech’s Strategic Plan 2022-26: In Front of What’s Ahead, and about its role as Manitoba’s polytechnic, please visit rrc.ca/polytech

Click here to download the Strategic Plan backgrounder.
Click here to download the RRC Polytech backgrounder.

New logos can be accessed here.

RRC embraces bold new identity and plan to support innovation, recovery, and growth

October 5, 2021

Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Treaty No. 1 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis Nation — Today, the province’s largest college has unveiled a bold new strategic direction and will embrace its identity as Manitoba’s polytechnic by bringing that word into its name, as Red River College Polytechnic, or RRC Polytech.

For RRC Polytech to continue to grow as the post-secondary institution that Manitoba needs today, and into the future, we are redefining ourselves. This will enable RRC Polytech to continue to modernize apprenticeship training and expand in areas that are hallmarks of a polytechnic education – applied research and work-integrated learning – which allow students to seamlessly transition from the classroom to their careers.

Embracing this new identity recognizes RRC Polytech’s evolution into a unique kind of post-secondary institution that blends deep, theoretical learning with applied, hands-on experience, and highlights the important role our graduates will play in growing Manitoba’s economy as our province recovers from the pandemic and looks to the future.

“For more than 80 years, Red River College Polytechnic has been a driving force to keep our province moving forward – economically, socially and culturally – by working on the cusp of what Manitoba needs now, and as we look towards the future,” said Honourable Wayne Ewasko, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration, Province of Manitoba.

“With this new identity and strategic direction, RRC Polytech is well-positioned to continue to meet the goals of the Skills, Talent and Knowledge Strategy – which provides an important framework for post-secondary institutions to prepare students for in-demand, good jobs, while accelerating our economic recovery and growth.”

The term polytechnic is used around the world to identify institutions who focus on strategic workforce development, applied research, and offer a variety of credentials from micro-credentials to bachelor degrees. The polytechnic model enables us to build on our strong foundation as a post-secondary institution and grow and expand our current offerings.

For students, a polytechnic education means more choices, flexible options, and opportunities to gain highly sought-after skills – at the start of their career or anywhere along the way.

For employers and industry partners, it means a pipeline to top Manitoba talent and a direct hand in developing a workforce that meets their current and future needs. It also means expanding partnerships and applied research collaborations to help position employers at the forefront of innovation and growth.

“Sectors across Manitoba continue to experience disruption at a faster and more frequent pace than ever before. This quickened pace demands an urgent and agile response, and RRC Polytech is perfectly positioned meet the emerging needs of our students and of the workforce they are entering,” said Fred Meier, President and CEO, RRC Polytech.

“The polytechnic model best describes not only who we are, but where we are going. Aligning our new identity and strategic direction lays a strong foundation to be bold, to continue to take important leaps, and it allows us to play the larger role we need to in Manitoba’s post-secondary ecosystem. It puts us in the right place, at the right time, to stay in front of what’s ahead.”

RRC Polytech Strategic Plan 2022-2026: In Front of What’s Ahead

This new mission, vision, and direction for RRC Polytech was influenced by thousands of stakeholders and community partners who participated in the creation of the new five-year Strategic Plan: In Front of What’s Ahead.  This plan provides a roadmap for how these commitments will position Manitoba’s polytechnic to respond to what our province needs next.

RRC Polytech’s Commitments are:

  1. Transform our learning models to meet emerging needs.
  2. Commit to Truth and Reconciliation. Pursue Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in everything we do.
  3. Deepen partnerships to maximize prosperity across industry and community.

Staying in front of what’s ahead requires RRC Polytech to align efforts across all priorities. These commitments ensure RRC Polytech can continue to meet the evolving needs of industry, employers, and communities, by shaping the future of learning, building the collaborations that drive shared outcomes, and deconstructing colonial and biased assumptions that have broken trust in post-secondary education, employment, and administration.

This new strategic plan will cement RRC Polytech’s unique position in Manitoba’s post-secondary eco-system and will guide our work in a measurable way as we move forward.

“Across every industry and sector, jobs are changing, technology is evolving, and responding to disruption in new and innovative ways has become the new normal,” said Bram Strain, President and CEO, Business Council of Manitoba.

“As a diverse group of leaders of companies who are committed to Manitoba’s economic growth and community development, we rely on RRC Polytech as a valued partner to provide a talented and multifaceted pool of graduates who can anticipate the needs of today, and who can look to the future of what our business community will need tomorrow – in order to stay competitive.”

For more information about RRC Polytech’s Strategic Plan 2022-26: In Front of What’s Ahead, and its role as Manitoba’s polytechnic, please visit rrc.ca/polytech

Red River College and IBM Canada give tech industry a boost with new micro-credentials

September 8, 2021

Winnipeg, MB – Joining the IT crowd has never been easier, thanks to a trio of micro-credentials Red River College (RRC) is offering this fall to fill urgent workforce gaps in Manitoba’s information technology sector.
 
The new online courses are taught by experienced industry professionals and cover three skills – mobile app development, security intelligence, and predictive analytics modelling – that are highly sought-after by tech sector employers. Out of the three courses, two courses – Security Intelligence Tech and Predictive Analytics Modeler are being offered by RRC through a strategic partnership with IBM that will develop and deliver the curriculum through its Learn@IBM skills training platform.
 
“Red River College’s strong ties with Manitoba’s fast-growing tech sector ensures we are creating more accessible, flexible learning options that channel homegrown talent into workforce gaps with speed and precision,” says Dr. Christine Watson, VP Academic and Research, Red River College. “Micro-credentials such as these in support of the IT sector continue to position Red River College as the go-to source for rapid, relevant programming that meets student and labour market needs.”
 
RRC’s new Android Mobile Development course starts on the first of each month from September to December. The first mobile computing micro-credential to be offered in Manitoba, it covers the foundations of native mobile application development, including user-interface, notifications, event-driven programming, development environments, APIs, and tools such as emulators. Students who complete the course earn a digital badge from RRC. Alumni of the College are eligible for a 10 per cent discount.
 
The other two courses Security Intelligence Tech and Predictive Analytics Modeler via Learn@IBM start September 20. Security Intelligence Tech introduces learners to concepts of security intelligence necessary to identify threats to networks and assets. Predictive Analytics Modeler career path prepare students to learn analytics models to collect and analyze data efficiently. Learners who complete each course earn a globally recognized IBM digital credential.
 
“Through IBM’s innovative skills training programs, we are delivering leading-edge curriculums to higher education Canadian institutions to better prepare students as they enter the workforce. This program provides a skills-building pathway to in-demand IT career openings such as security intelligence and predictive analytics. Additionally, we’re giving faculty members a window into industry-relevant tools and skillsets to provide greater learning value to students,” said Steven Astorino, VP Data & AI Development and IBM Canada Lab Director. “IBM Canada is a proud supporter of higher learning across the country, and we’re proud to support progressive Manitoba institutions such as Red River College.”
 
“Bite-sized, online courses and credentials that target specific skillsets are helping RRC better prepare students, including those already in the workforce, for the future of work,” said Kathleen Kerr, Dean of RRC’s School of Continuing Education.
 
“Advances in technology are disrupting economies and labour markets at a pace that will only increase in the years ahead. The result is a skyrocketing demand for continuous learning, via up-skilling and re-skilling, from students and employers alike. These micro-credentials are another example of how Red River College is facing the future of work head-on.”
 
To find out more, or to register for a Technology Skills Micro-Credential course, visit https://www.rrc.ca/part-time/micro-credentials/technology-skills
 
To learn more about Learn@IBM, please visit https://mylearning.comprehend.ibm.com/index.php

Shannon Gray Memorial Award for Nurses honours legacy of compassion

September 3, 2021

A new award celebrating the life and legacy of Red River College alumna Shannon Gray will recognize nursing students who demonstrate a passion for helping others.
 
Gray graduated from the Bachelor of Nursing program in 2016 and looked forward to a promising career as a Registered Nurse. She passed away from Non-Hodgkin lymphoma two years later at the age of 28, before she had the opportunity to fulfil her dream of becoming a working RN.
 
The award was established by her husband, Aaron Trachtenberg, as a way to celebrate her legacy and to provide support to other young nurses in her honour.
 
“Shannon believed the right way to live your life is to dedicate it to helping others,” he says. “She loved nursing because of the direct connection it gave to those she was caring for.”
 
The award, worth $1,000 or more annually, will be presented each fall to a student graduating from the Bachelor of Nursing program who has successfully completed a senior practicum in a paediatric or oncology setting. Preference will be given to applicants who express an interest in paediatric oncology.
 
“We are so grateful for the generosity of Shannon’s family and friends, who are providing an incredible opportunity for nursing students to achieve their dreams. Many members of our faculty and staff had the chance to meet and work with Shannon while she was a student, and we’re proud her legacy will have an impact on other hard-working, dedicated nurses,” says Debbie O’Donnell Weigelt, Dean of Health Sciences and Community Services at RRC.
 
Trachtenberg says that while the award recognizes academic achievement, it is also meant to celebrate and encourage the qualities of caring, compassion, and collegiality for which Gray was known.
 
“That last one – helping and supporting those you work with – is so important because how you treat your colleagues shapes your working environment and, ultimately, the quality of care you provide.”
 
Trachtenberg, a doctor, says working in a hospital over this past year has opened his eyes to the enormous challenges nurses faces as they strive to deliver an uncompromising level of care to those they serve.
 
“I often see RRC nursing students hard at work on their clinical rotations, and I want to encourage them to maintain their caring and compassion, and willingness to help each other as much as possible.”
 
Gray graduated with distinction and received the Nursing Legacy Award for outstanding clinical performance. Although she never had a chance to work as an RN, she did get her license, passing her N-KLEX exam in the minimum number of questions required.
 
She also completed a senior practicum in paediatric oncology, a challenging field she found immensely rewarding – to the surprise of absolutely no one who knew her, say friends and family. “There was a mutual joy between Shannon and any child she engaged with.”
 
Gray’s classmates remember her relentless work ethic, willingness to help others, and natural ability to make those around her feel valued.
 
In a tribute to Gray, one classmate who witnessed her compassion and superior clinical reasoning skills in class described her as “the perfect balance of the art and science of nursing practice.”
 
“The As she achieved on many assignments were not only due to her knowing the ‘right answer,’ but because she paired the correct answers with humanity,” added one of her instructors in another tribute. “Nursing has lost a huge potential in the care Shannon will never give to her patients.”
 
Trachtenberg wants Gray to be remembered not only as a great nursing student, but as an incredible person.
 
“Everyone she met immediately felt comfortable around her. She loved kids and animals, and could beat me at any sport.”
 
Applications for the Shannon Gray Legacy Award for Nursing will be available from the Nursing Repository, and will be accepted throughout the year. Applications should be accompanied by two reference letters – one from a preceptor, one from a faculty member – along with a short write-up about the candidate’s future goals in their area of interest.
 
SUPPORT SHANNON’S LEGACY
 
Your gift has double the impact. For a limited time, all gifts made towards the Shannon Gray Legacy Award will be matched (up to $25,000) by Shannon’s husband Aaron Trachtenberg. Please donate today to help support the future generation of hard-working, compassionate nurses in Manitoba.
 
You can contribute to the Shannon Gray Legacy Award Fund and strengthen the impact of her legacy by donating in the following ways:
 

  • Online (please designate your gift in memory of Shannon Gray)
  • Over the phone by calling 204-619-0139
  • By mail:  Red River College Development Office

C306-2055 Notre Dame Ave.
Winnipeg, MB R3H 0J9
 
AWARD DESCRIPTION:
 
Shannon Gray memorial award for Nurses
Shannon Gray (1989-2018) was an accomplished graduate of Red River College’s Bachelor of Nursing program, who had a promising career ahead of her as a Registered Nurse. She was a bright light, and lived life with courage and exuberance while practicing gentleness and kindness in each interaction. It was her dream to become a pediatric nurse, and it was the prospect of providing care that gave her hope while fighting Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The award will honour Shannon’s legacy, and support Nursing students with a passion for helping others. Established by her loving husband Aaron Trachtenberg, along with family and friends, this award will be valued at a minimum of $1000 and presented annually to a student graduating from the Bachelor of Nursing program. The recipient will have successfully completed a Senior Practicum in a pediatric or oncology setting with a preference for those who have expressed a particular interest in pediatric oncology specifically. They will also have demonstrated a high level of skill and academic achievement, but most importantly a caring and compassionate attitude with patients and colleagues. Application forms will be available from the Nursing Repository and should be accompanied by two reference letters: one from a preceptor and one from a faculty member, and a short write up about their future goals in the interest area. Applications will be accepted throughout the year, and the recipient will be selected annually in the fall.”

Red River College offers new Community Consultation and Engagement courses to support reconciliation and relationship-building between businesses and Indigenous communities

September 2, 2021

Red River College’s new Social Innovation Micro-Credentials are the College’s first to provide specific skills for businesses and professionals to embed reconciliation efforts through effective and respectful consultation processes and relationship-building.

Micro-credentials are shareable endorsements of knowledge, skills or competencies that are awarded as digital badges. Under the umbrella of Social Innovation, the Indigenous Community Consultation and Engagement Social Innovation micro-credentials provide the knowledge and understanding to drive positive social change through strong relationship focused engagement with Indigenous nations and communities and a deeper understanding of the diversity of Indigenous peoples, Indigenous sovereignty, policies, principles, and Treaty rights.

“When we look at reconciliation, and Indigenous world views, it’s all about relationships. We can provide industry and professionals the foundation to build strong, reciprocal relationships with Indigenous peoples using guiding principles and processes while simultaneously responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action in their work,” says Carla Kematch, Manager, Truth and Reconciliation and Community Engagement.

The Indigenous Community Consultation and Engagement courses are open to both individuals, to start a rewarding career in community development and social innovation or obtain necessary communications skills used in many professions, and to businesses, to help streamline business processes, provide a competitive advantage, and guide work with Indigenous communities for mutual success.

Businesses and professionals will learn the historical and current colonial context including the Indian Act, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and how this impacts Indigenous communities and projects within their communities.

“Red River College has proudly pledged to support reconciliation action and education in Manitoba, and micro-credentials are uniquely positioned to support a gradual and strategic response to evolving reconciliation needs of businesses and professionals,” says Fred Meier, President & CEO, Red River College.

“This suite of courses specifically is a very important place to start to understand how to build strong relationships, especially as organizations are trying to figure out how reconciliation will take shape in processes and policies. While there are positions and professionals who are experts dedicated to truth and reconciliation and advising on strategies to respond to the Calls to Actions, we all need to have this knowledge and learn how we can apply it within projects, initiatives, and daily work.”

The courses are endorsed by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce (MCC), which is encouraging its around 10,000 member businesses to enroll.

“We are proud to support initiatives and programs that make Manitoba a better place to work and live. Reconciliation starts with education, and I believe that many of MCC’s members will benefit from having access to these courses,” says Chuck Davidson, President and CEO of MCC. “The Chambers and Red River College have fostered a strong partnership to help businesses adapt and grow through disruption – and I believe an integral part of growth is a commitment to learning respectful processes for engagement and consultation with Indigenous communities.”

Social Innovation brings new perspectives to existing ways of decision-making in today’s world by exploring the tremendous capacities of communities and individuals looking to initiate systems change. In this context, consultation focuses on collective community knowledge, adding value to the lives of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, building capacity and reflecting cultural ways of knowing so community members can make informed decisions.

“Social Innovation is a really important and exciting emerging field where business and entrepreneurship meet advocacy and social change. This is in natural alignment for many Indigenous peoples because its purpose is effecting real change in today’s complex systems, while also using a sustainable, environmentally-conscious lens,” continues Kematch.

“While we are seeing many Indigenous students follow this as a rewarding, full-time career path, a lot of these skills in this career can be transferred to many different types of businesses and even industries. We know that to move forward, there is a lot of work that needs to be done in effectively and respectfully working with Indigenous nations and communities, as well as understanding Indigenous sovereignty and decision-making. This is where reconciliation can make huge strides,” continues Kematch.

The Indigenous Community Consultation and Engagement suite is comprised of three online 25-hour courses with each awarding one credit hour and a digital badge upon completion. Completing all three courses awards a fourth digital badge that demonstrates competencies in Indigenous Community Consultation and Engagement.

RRC alumni as well as group bookings for organizations (registering five or more employees) receive a 10% discount. Online information sessions will be offered on September 13 and 20, 2021.

To learn more about the Indigenous Community Consultation and Engagement Micro-Credentials, click here

Magellan Aerospace, Winnipeg provides $100,000 to Support Students at Red River College

August 25, 2021

New memorial award established to honour past President and CEO James ‘Jim’ S. Butyniec

Students in Red River College’s (RRC) Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology programs will soon be eligible for a new award, established by Magellan Aerospace Corporation to honour the late James (Jim) S. Butyniec.

Jim Butyniec had a lifelong career in aerospace, including 23 years at Magellan Aerospace, Winnipeg (formerly Bristol Aerospace) and Magellan’s corporate headquarters in Toronto, Ontario where he was President and CEO from 2008 until his retirement in 2015. While he did not have the opportunity for a formal education himself, he appreciated those who did and surrounded himself with a team of knowledgeable and effective colleagues who shared a commitment to making the business successful.

“Red River College and Magellan Aerospace have been proud partners for more than 20 years, and we are honoured that Magellan has created this award to support students in our Engineering Technology programs,” said Derek Kochenash, Dean, Skilled Trades and Technologies at RRC. “Aside from technical skills – adaptability, good communication and teamwork are some of the most important qualities a skilled tradesperson can have, and are things we aim to instill in each of our students.”

Recipients of the award will be required to have the same entrepreneurial attitude and adaptability that Jim carried with him every day. In 1997, when Magellan Aerospace, Winnipeg’s production shifted to predominantly commercial aerospace, it was Jim who took the helm and implemented a toolbox of proven best industry practices (including the Lean processes of 5S and Value Stream Mapping and Six Sigma). Within two years, Jim’s strategy for change – coupled with his straightforward and hands-on management style – accomplished a change in the culture and business practices of the company, and grew its reputation in the competitive global market.

“In recognition of Magellan’s appreciation of our long and enduring partnership with Red River College, the company is pleased to establish the Magellan Aerospace James (Jim) S. Butyniec Memorial Award. Jim’s leadership style included a dedication mentoring and developing employees and we know that he would be honored to see this continue in the form of this student award,” said Phillip C. Underwood, President and CEO of Magellan Aerospace Corporation.

Magellan Aerospace, Winnipeg is a leading employer of RRC alumni in various roles, such as technologists, quality assurance, purchasing, business development and marketing. In 1997, the two organizations – along with Boeing Canada and Manitoba Aerospace – worked together to create RRC’s Aerospace Manufacturing Technician program, which closed the gap on a specific industry need and has trained up to 32 students per year ever since.

In addition to the Magellan Aerospace James (Jim) S. Butyniec Memorial Award from Magellan Aerospace Corporation, Magellan’s local Winnipeg facility provides two $400 awards annually to students entering their second year of Engineering Technology programs at RRC.

For more information about Awards, Scholarships and Bursaries at Red River College, click here.


Magellan Aerospace James (Jim) S. Butyniec Memorial Award Outline
Magellan Aerospace Corporation is a global aerospace company that provides complex assemblies and systems solutions to aircraft and engine manufacturers and defence and space agencies worldwide. Magellan designs and manufactures aeroengine and aerostructure assemblies and components for aerospace markets, advanced proprietary products for military and space markets, and provides engine and component repair and overhaul services worldwide. 

To celebrate and remember their former President and CEO, Jim Butyniec, who was a respected leader in the aerospace industry for many decades, awards valued at $1000 each will be presented annually to students at Red River College. Jim and his family immigrated to Canada after World War II. The early years in Canada were not easy.  From these humble beginnings, Jim worked hard and made himself a success story. This award for Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Technology students, who have demonstrated leadership qualities during their studies at the College, will keep Jim’s story celebrated for many years.

Two awards are available annually, and recipient selection will be based on, leadership qualities, financial need and academic standing.  One $1000 award is available to a domestic student enrolled in the final term (307) of the Mechanical Engineering Technology program. The other award is available to a domestic student enrolled in the final term (307) of the Electrical Engineering Technology program. To be considered, eligible students should submit a completed application accompanied by a reference letter from an instructor, attesting to the student’s leadership qualities