News

First cohort of Hollow Water First Nation grads complete Educational Assistant program

June 3, 2024

Last month, the first cohort of students in Hollow Water (Waanibiigaaw) First Nation’s Educational Assistant program gathered alongside their instructor and family members to celebrate their graduation with a ceremony and feast.

The community-centred celebration allowed the grads to share their accomplishments with loved ones and community members. They were gifted materials from their community to create their own ribbon skirts to wear to the ceremony.

Instructor Patricia Stouffer says it was important to the grads to take part in a ceremony, not just for themselves but so young people could see the accomplishments possible for them in their community.

Hollow Water First Nation is a tightknit, welcoming community located on the eastern shore of Lake Winnipeg, over 200 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg. Stouffer says her students’ ability to remain close to home while studying was crucial to their success in the program.

“One of the biggest things is having support from home and not experiencing culture shock,” she explains. “It’s hard enough to transition into education, and having this opportunity right in the community opened doors for the students who were a part of this program.

“Being in their community allowed them to keep their values and connection to family alive and well throughout their education and get the support that only being close to home can provide.”

Chloe Seymour is one of the eight graduating students and is already working right in her community at Wanipigow School. She says it felt nice to be recognized at the ceremony and for her community members to see how hard she’d worked — echoing Stouffer’s sentiment that close proximity to educational opportunities is crucial.

Seymour held two part-time jobs while in the program — jobs she would’ve had to give up if she’d been required to travel to another part of the province to complete the program. It was also important to her that she could set an example for kids in Hollow Water.

“I’m glad I got to show the youth in my community that they don’t have to leave their home to continue their education, and that they can be successful, just like I was,” she says.

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Nursing Student Awarded $30K Grant for Climate Action Project

May 7, 2024

RRC Polytech Nursing student Sophie Walker, wearing medical scrubs and stethoscopeRRC Polytech Nursing student Sophie Walker has received a $30,000 grant from the inaugural Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery (C2R2) and Wawanesa Climate Champions: Youth Innovation Grant for her project, Climate Resilient Nursing. 

“As a founding member of Canadian Colleges for Resilient Recovery, RRC Polytech has made a commitment to preparing students to use the skills they’ve learned and make real-world impacts,” says Dr. Christine Watson, RRC Polytech’s Vice-President, Academic and Co-Chair of the C2R2 Steering Committee.

“As a leading post-secondary institution, we play a vital role in advancing sustainability through our academic programs and applied research. Sophie’s project is an exciting reminder of how our students can help us move toward a more sustainable future. We are also very pleased that a Winnipeg-based organization such as Wawanesa has provided such a unique investment to support students’ research to positively impact climate action.” 

Walker’s Climate Resilient Nursing project aims to address nursing professionals’ lack of capacity to address climate changerelated health care system vulnerabilities and resilience. The project will increase climate awareness among nurses, help nursing students develop practical skills to become more climate conscious in their future careers and create a comprehensive resource guide for future students and instructors at RRC Polytech. 

“I am very grateful to receive this grant and excited to dive deeper into the research, says Walker. I have been interested in research since my first year in nursing school back in late 2019, and in the last three weeks I’ve had incredible support from my instructors and researchers at RRC Polytech in finding an idea and creating the proposal.

“Receiving this grant means I can help to make a difference and leave a lasting change. It will also help me gain valuable experience for my future career.” 

Walker worked with her Nursing instructors and with the Colleges Research Partnerships & Innovation team on the project, which was inspired by instructor Jennifer Morin, who Walker says is passionate about the subject and has a wealth of knowledge that helped her with the application.  

She is one of five Youth Innovation Grant recipients. Each grant is given to a student from a C2R2 partner institution to launch or enhance a climate adaptation or climate mitigation project. RRC Polytech is one of the founding partners of C2R2 and currently offers six micro-credential courses aimed at clean tech and social innovation. 

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RRC Polytech named one of Canada’s top research colleges

December 11, 2023

RRC Polytech is once again a top research institution in the country, earning the 14th spot in Re$earch Infosource’s annual ranking of Canada’s top 50 research colleges, released last week.

“RRC Polytech makes innovation possible for our partners in industry and community — and every successful project builds trust in our technology, facilities and expertise,” says Jamie Wilson, the College’s Vice-President, Indigenous Strategy, Research and Business Development.

“Today’s rankings reflect the College’s growing reputation for consistency and productivity, which is driven by the work of our Research Partnerships & Innovation enterprise and at our three Technology Access Centres.

“They also reinforce that our approach of strengthening relationships with partners and funders across all sectors, driving alignment between stakeholders and valuing sustainability is accelerating applied research innovation here in Manitoba.”

In the 2022 fiscal year, RRC Polytech completed 170 applied research projects via 117 research partnerships — almost 60 more than the previous year — ranking it third in the Medium Tier category and fourth nationwide.

By maintaining its average of $7.4 million for a second consecutive year, Manitoba’s polytechnic also remains on par with the per-college provincial average of sponsored research income in Alberta, and only slightly behind Ontario’s.

As an added feature to its annual publication, Canada’s Innovation Leaders 2023, Re$earch Infosource also shines a spotlight on college-industry research income as measured by grants, contracts or contributions received from industry sources over the past five years, where RRC Polytech again showed a remarkably consistent annual average of just over $7 million from 2018-2022. Read More →

College signs SDG Accord; continues to lead in sustainable development

December 8, 2023

RRC Polytech has become the first post-secondary in Manitoba to the sign the SDG Accord, committing to embed the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into its education, research, leadership, operations, administration and engagement activities.

The 17 SDGs represent an ambitious call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. They align with the values in RRC Polytech’s strategic plan and directly support the College’s commitments.

“Our primary objective is training the workforce of today and tomorrow, so we are uniquely positioned to lead transformative change and build a more sustainable future — and the SDGs are a valuable tool to help us focus our efforts,” says RRC Polytech President Fred Meier.

“Sustainability is a journey without a final destination, so we’re prepared and excited to build on the current initiatives led by our Environmental Stewardship and Campus Renewal team and broaden our approach to include research, academics and all areas of College operations.”

The SDGs are a global blueprint for all people around the world to improve health and education, reduce inequality, spur economic growth and tackle climate change. They aim to achieve peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. While each goal has its own separate objective, they are indivisibly linked and interdependent.

“We can’t have good health and well-being without clean water, and we can’t have sustainable, inclusive communities without reducing inequality,” says Sustainability Specialist Stephanie Fulford. “So while the goals are ambitious, they reflect the scope of our global challenges, give us real targets to strive toward and a pathway to achieve them.”

“We also recognize that to achieve these goals will require all of us, in every sector of society, to work together — which is why formally signing the accord is so important.” Read More →

College extends president’s contract until 2028

December 8, 2023

Red River College Polytechnic’s Board of Governors (BOG) has announced its unanimous decision to extend the contract of President and CEO Fred Meier until July 2028.

“President Meier has surpassed the Board’s expectations in all he has accomplished since joining RRC Polytech,” says board Chair Loren Cisyk. “Extending his contract today ensures we will continue to build for the future with his strong, visionary leadership in place. We share our complete confidence in Mr. Meier’s ability to lead RRC Polytech forward as it strives to meet and exceed the needs of students and staff, as well as our partners in industry and the community.”

Since joining RRC Polytech in July 2020, Meier has been integral in charting a bold new path for the College. This includes rebranding the College to RRC Polytech, embracing its identity as Manitoba’s polytechnic, and creating its Strategic Plan 2022-2026: In Front of What’s Ahead.

This ambitious plan commits RRC Polytech to transform its learning models to amplify its impact across Manitoba, cements the College’s commitment towards Truth and Reconciliation and the pursuit of equity, diversity and inclusion in everything it does, and focuses its efforts on deepening partnerships to maximize prosperity across industry and community.

Through Meier’s leadership, RRC Polytech has taken many necessary and meaningful steps towards advancing the goals of the strategic plan, including a 98 per cent completion rate of RRC Polytech’s Comprehensive Campaign, In Front of What’s Ahead.

Thanks to the support of generous donors and industry partners, gifts are making a direct impact for today’s learners and will allow the College to create more supports and programs to help future students achieve success — from new and increased scholarships and bursaries, to the donation of computers, the launch of a new mentorship program for Indigenous learners, and the opening of the Centre for Newcomer Integration and the Price Institute of Advanced Manufacturing and Mechatronics. Read More →

Longtime RRC Polytech donors celebrated on National Philanthropy Day

November 15, 2023

As part of National Philanthropy Day celebrations, longtime RRC Polytech donors Walter and Maria Schroeder are being recognized for supporting organizations, institutions and individuals — in Manitoba and throughout Canada — with the 2023 Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Manitoba Outstanding Philanthropist Award.

RRC Polytech and the University of Manitoba co-nominated the duo — founders of The Schroeder Foundation, a Canadian charitable organization — in recognition of their dedication to Winnipeg youth.

“Walter and Maria Schroeder’s work has truly been transformative, and today RRC Polytech is so proud to celebrate their contributions to our community as Manitoba’s 2023 Outstanding Philanthropists,” says RRC Polytech president Fred Meier.

“The Schroeder Foundation has awarded hundreds of full post-secondary scholarships to institutions in Winnipeg — including more than 180 to RRC Polytech — which include tuition, books and wrap-around supports.

“Schroeder Foundation students now also have the opportunity to participate in RRC Polytech’s Transition to College program, which helps them start their programs with the knowledge and confidence they need to succeed on day one.”

Every year, the Schroeder Foundation donates millions of dollars to organizations, with a focus on improving health care, providing economic education, and empowering youth and Indigenous communities across the country. The Foundation currently invests more than $3 million annually in Winnipeg alone. Read More →

College’s new Price Institute launches first courses in Advanced Manufacturing and Mechatronics

November 2, 2023

RRC Polytech and Siemens, a global digital technology leader, have partnered to deliver the first courses and programs available to Manitobans through the College’s new Price Institute of Advanced Manufacturing and Mechatronics.

The Level 1 Siemens Mechatronic Systems Certification program — the first of its kind in Manitoba — is accepting registrations and is open to recent graduates of RRC Polytech’s manufacturing programs, as well as workers in the manufacturing industry who are looking to upskill and reskill. Students who complete the Level 1 program will also have the opportunity to enrol in Level 2 later in 2024.

“The Price Institute was established to meet the emerging needs of Manitoba’s manufacturing sector by providing opportunities for students and those currently employed in the sector to access leading-edge training and applied research,” says Fred Meier, President and CEO, RRC Polytech.

“These first offerings from the Price Institute present an exciting first step in answering the call for training that advances technology adoption across all areas of manufacturing and embeds Industry 4.0 concepts.”

Alongside the first offering of the Siemens program in Manitoba, the Price Institute will offer a suite of micro-credentials starting later this fall with an Introduction to Ethical Hacking and more offerings beginning in 2024 that include Cloud Computing, Data Analysis and Intro to IT Automation.

“Finding and retaining skilled talent is a priority for industries across the country,” says Joris Myny, Senior Vice-President, Digital Industries, Siemens Canada.

“To meet this demand, it is crucial that the tools, opportunities and networks are made available to students and to a current workforce looking to upskill. We congratulate RRC Polytech on the establishment of the Price Institute, and look forward to partnering in support of industry in Manitoba.”

The Manitoba chapter of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) reported having 2,130 job vacancies in the third quarter of 2022, citing a shortage of advanced skills. These initial and future offerings through the Price Institute are essential to upskilling and reskilling to narrow the skills gap in this vital sector in Manitoba’s economy.

While these offerings are just the beginning, they represent the leading-edge subject matter and collaboration between industry and academia that Dr. Gerry Price envisioned would occur at the Price Institute.

For more information on RRC Polytech’s Institute of Advanced Manufacturing and Mechatronics, visit rrc.ca/priceinstitute.

To register and learn more about the Price Institute’s Siemens Mechatronics Systems and Certification program or our upcoming micro-credentials, visit rrc.ca/amm.

College to celebrate partnerships with new alumni-focused co-op campaign

October 25, 2023

RRC Polytech is looking for a diverse group of employers to participate in an exciting new co-operative advertising opportunity. Launching in Spring 2024, the College’s Polytechnic Proud campaign will showcase employers and RRC Polytech graduates who excel in their workplaces and beyond.

Any organization with an RRC Polytech grad on their payroll, in their volunteer ranks, or on their Board of Directors, is invited to apply to participate.

The Polytechnic Proud campaign will feature RRC Polytech alumni who are in front of what’s ahead in their sectors, while showcasing the phenomenal partnerships the College has built with employers across the province. Nominations are open now and employers can submit applications until Nov. 24, 2023.

“As Manitoba’s only polytechnic, the relationships we’ve built with Manitoba employers, along with the RRC Polytech alumni who work for them, is something we cherish,” says Fred Meier, RRC Polytech’s President and CEO.

“This creative, co-operative marketing campaign will highlight not only our strategic partnerships but also the successes of our graduates, as well as the incredible diversity of our alumni community.”

The Polytechnic Proud campaign will put front and centre the exceptional education the College provides in a wide range of disciplines and sectors. RRC Polytech plays a vital role in helping grads achieve career success with fantastic organizations; the new campaign will aim to capture examples of that success.

RRC Polytech alumni are known throughout the province and around the world for driving innovation, being work-ready, and possessing the skills required to become leaders in their chosen fields. The new campaign is the perfect vehicle for celebrating not only the College’s alumni, but also its partnerships with employers that are shaping the future of Manitoba.

To learn more, including how employers who proudly hire RRC Polytech graduates can apply to take part in the campaign, visit rrc.ca/ProudPartner.

RRC Polytech trades camp takes early approach to equal representation

October 5, 2023

As Manitoba continues to grow, there’s no question that the demand for skilled tradespeople is as high as its ever been.

According to the province’s labour gap statistics, trades such as automotive service technicians, carpenters, electricians and construction labourers are some of the most in-need career paths over the next five years.

Trades, though, can be a male-dominated space. According to a 2020 study by BuildForce Canada, just five per cent of the 1.1 million trades people in Canada identify as female. While this is a significant increase from where the industry was 10 years ago (3.7 per cent in 2008), it shows just how important equal representation and creating space is when it comes to young women entering trades.

Enter the Girls Exploring Trades and Technology camp, or GETT. Started by RRC Polytech in 1999, GETT is a summer camp at the College’s Notre Dame Campus where instructors and staff help introduce young girls aged 12 to 14 to a variety of trades — free of charge.

Male instructor and preteen girl using power drill in RRC Polytech's carpentry lab “The girls get exposure to a whole lot of different non-traditional career options for them,” says Christina Lambert, who has been running the camps since 2006.

In a whirlwind four days, camp participants are introduced to plumbing, woodworking, cabinetmaking, welding, robotics, transportation, bricklaying, and more. At the end of their camp experience, each participant brings home a project made using experience earned in the camp: a desk lamp built with iron pipe. Read More →

Virtual medical service QDoc expands thanks to foundations built by RRC Polytech students

October 5, 2023

A virtual connection between a patient and doctor sounds simple in concept. In execution, though, it’s a challenge from both medical and technological perspectives.

In Manitoba, that’s where QDoc comes in. The local startup has created a solution that’s taken off in the mainstream since its launch last year. And with software development help from RRC Polytech students along the way, co-founders Dr. Norman Silver and David Berkowits believe they have a service that is not only winning awards now, but is also set for rapid expansion in the near future.

Launched in May 2022, QDoc is an online application that connects patients to doctors in real-time. Thanks to a custom algorithm, patients can log in and request to see a doctor. QDoc then sends a message to doctors informing them that a patient is there to be seen, and the two can meet in an encrypted online appointment at a time that fits within both schedules.

Today, 90 doctors across several specialties are on QDoc, including general practitioners, emergency doctors, pediatricians, obstetricians and ophthalmologists. Silver says that annualized, QDoc is set to see 50,000 patients use their system in Manitoba alone in 2023.

“We’ve had great feedback,” he says. “From the individual patient side, it’s unbelievable to have access like that.

“Patients who may have had to drive hours to see a doctor, with QDoc that really isn’t necessary. Doctors can talk through things that are maybe more labour-intensive where the patient may otherwise need to go in, but all factors considered — could be a snowstorm, could be the middle of the night, could be a young kid in the equation — that kind of stuff, it’s much better to try something at home first.” Read More →

RRC Polytech campuses are located on the lands of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininew, Dakota, and Dené, and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis.

We recognize and honour Treaty 3 Territory Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, the source of Winnipeg’s clean drinking water. In addition, we acknowledge Treaty Territories which provide us with access to electricity we use in both our personal and professional lives.

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