orange iconOperational Response Level: Restricted ›

News

Colleges partner to deliver workforce training in goods movement and supply chain sector

May 4, 2021

Four colleges from across Canada have partnered to support economic recovery in their regions through the launch of a new industry training program in the supply chain sector, funded by the Future Skills Centre and developed by Mohawk College’s City School initiative.

Nova Scotia Community College, Mohawk College, Red River College and Vancouver Community College have partnered to deliver the Material Handling 4.0 pilot program, designed to help people transition into careers in the supply chain sector.

The program builds upon the successful training model used by City School in Hamilton, combining industry-driven training, individualized student support and practical work experience to provide comprehensive training services to people who face barriers to employment and education.

Upon completion of the program, participants receive a micro-credential and employment services to help them successfully transition into long-term, stable employment.

The Material Handling 4.0 pilot program will provide participants with six weeks of industry-specific instruction and a two-week paid work placement, complete with wraparound supports such as child care, all required PPE and supplies for work safety, and referrals to support services (legal clinics, housing, health, etc.).

This program will provide training for 243 people across the four participating colleges. Mohawk begins its first local cohort of the program today, and the partner colleges will launch their cohorts starting in Fall 2021.

Future Skills Centre (FSC) announced an initial investment of $1.95 million in the first phase of the program at Mohawk College in 2020 to develop and establish the program in the Hamilton area. Today, it is announcing an additional $1.1 million to expand the program to the three additional communities across Canada.

“As we continue to recover from COVID-19, our government is helping jobseekers upskill and re-skill to fill in demand jobs. Mohawk College’s Material Handling 4.0 project is helping workers transition into new job opportunities within the supply chain sector,” says Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion. “Further investments through the Future Skills Centre will allow new partnerships to expand the project’s reach and continue this important work.” Read More →

Have laptop, will travel: New virtual projects turning RRC students into global citizens

May 3, 2021

The Government of Canada has chosen Red River College to take part in an innovative pilot project aimed at getting more students involved in international exchange opportunities, especially students facing barriers to working and studying abroad.

The Outbound Student Mobility Program, designed and administered by Colleges and Institutes Canada (CiCan), was launched last year to provide more Indigenous students, students with disabilities, and students facing financial need with opportunities to expand their perspectives and apply the global competencies they gain abroad to the careers they pursue back home.

At least, that was the plan.

Since then, the COVID-19 pandemic has added a new challenge to the mix: accomplish all of the above, but without the need to physically fly students across borders.

Raeanne Hebert, a Business Information Technology (BIT) instructor at RRC, was about to travel to Brazil to help develop an exchange program there when the pandemic struck, halting the program in its tracks. However, development funding from the Outbound Mobility project gave her the opportunity to pivot the geographic exchange into a virtual one.

That initiative is now well underway: for the past three months, students in RRC’s BIT program have been connecting online with computer engineering students from the Federal Institute of Ceará (IFCE) to develop solutions for local entrepreneurs, including IT for a drone that delivers pesticides, a fitness and nutrition app, and an energy metering device for a power monitoring dashboard. They’ve completed three projects together so far.

“Students from both countries connect in RRC’s virtual Project Space and program together online for about four hours a day,” says Hebert. “They’ve been learning a lot from one another.”

Hebert says international exchanges — virtual or physical — are critical to opening students’ eyes to other cultures and ways of life, to breaking down stereotypes, and to strengthening relationships and connections.

They’re also vital to fostering innovation.

“When it comes to the future of IT, innovation is 1,000 per cent important. Exchanges like these help our students learn how other countries do things. They teach us innovative solutions to the problems we all face.” Read More →

Innovation Centre to feature new-to-North America sustainable solar energy technology

April 22, 2021

Red River College is leading the way in the use of solar energy-conducting technology, providing opportunities for students and local construction firms to grow their skillsets.

Next week, electrical and building envelope crews will begin the installation of approximately 400 Kromatix Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPVs) — the first of their kind in North America — along the exterior façade of the Innovation Centre, currently under construction in Winnipeg’s Exchange District.

“We’re proud to be the first institution in North America to welcome this sustainable technology — it’s only fitting that it’s installed on a building designed to cultivate and foster innovative ideas,” says RRC President Fred Meier.

“This is just one example of how RRC puts its values of sustainability into action, and demonstrates to our students there is always a better way of doing things, so long as you are open to new ideas and have the courage to ask, ‘How can we make this work?’”

Diagram illustrating Kromatix technologyDeveloped by SwissINSO, Kromatix is an opaque glass — colour-treated without the use of paint or tint — that is layered over the solar, thermal and electrical components of each panel. The technology results in aesthetically impactful panels that are optimized for solar energy generation.

When combined with the building’s 138 rooftop panels, the glass will allow the College to offset energy consumption by about 193Mwh/year, enough to power 18.5 average-sized homes for the same amount of time.

Diamond Schmitt Architects and Number TEN Architectural Group, who worked in tandem to design the new building, sourced the innovative product from Denmark. Using a procurement method called design-assist, subcontractors were brought into the project before the design was complete to ensure the vision was functional and achievable.

“It was really important for us to work with local tradespeople for the installation of the panels,” says Frank Koreman, Project Manager at Akman Construction Ltd.

“Working with local trades to learn and install the panels means we have the technology here in Winnipeg, and it can be passed along and shared for future projects. The teams working on this project are loaded with RRC grads, so it comes full-circle to have been taught in school and then bring back new technology for an RRC project.” Read More →

Going for green: RRC’s values and actions lead the way in sustainability

April 19, 2021

Red River College is committed to embracing innovation, taking risks and challenging the status quo in the name of sustainability.

As Earth Day approaches, these values ring true as the College plans to open the doors to its newest learning space — the Innovation Centre — later this year.

Located in the heart of Winnipeg’s Exchange District, the Centre is on track to be RRC’s fourth LEED-certified structure, with a goal of 100 EUI (energy use intensity) and a near net zero building.

“We’re a leader in sustainability and that’s because sustainable values are embedded in all we do,” says RRC President Fred Meier. “These values guide us as we develop environmentally friendly programs and design state-of-the-art buildings, such as the Innovation Centre.”

Part of the Centre’s design includes Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) that will be installed along the exterior. Designed by SwissINSO (based in Switzerland), the coloured panels — called Kromatix — absorb and conduct energy while also protecting the building from the elements. This installation will be the first of its kind in Canada, and will reduce energy consumption by an estimated 15 per cent.

Thanks to energy efficient technologies — including Power Over Ethernet (POE) lighting, Smart LSI Breakers, WIFI outlets and BIPVs — the renewable energy produced will also power the building.

“Staying true to our values continues to make RRC a champion of sustainability in our province and across Canada,” says Meier.

That leadership has been formally recognized for more than a decade now, as RRC also celebrates being named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers this week. Read More →

New Healthy Minds Healthy College Strategy released; learn more at online forum on April 9

March 31, 2021

Red River College is pleased to share that its new Healthy Minds Healthy (HMHC) College Strategy: A Roadmap for Action 2021-2025 has been approved and endorsed by Senior Leadership and the HMHC Steering Committee — who serve as a catalyst for moving this important work forward — and will carry the College forward for the next five years.

Many staff and students across the College have had opportunities to participate in wellness events and initiatives organized by HMHC — from therapy dogs to paint nights to presentations by guest speakers such as Jordin Tootoo (shown above). If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that supporting healthy minds and creating a healthy College community is so much more than the fun and visible events we enjoy on campus.

“The goal of Healthy Minds Healthy College is to promote an environment of support that provides a sense of well-being, belonging, connectedness and positive mental health for all students, faculty and staff,” says RRC President Fred Meier.

“We know that personal well-being supports academic and career success, and our personal well-being is often affected by the conditions in which we learn and work. Our HMHC Strategy: Roadmap for Action recognizes the strengths that are currently in place at RRC, while providing a path forward to guide the work that remains.”

While this work was underway prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, recent events have created new and different stressors, bringing mental health to the forefront of many people’s minds. Further, there is a risk of an “echo pandemic” of poor mental health, caused by widespread social and economic disruption.

The HMHC Strategy acknowledges the need to take a community-wide, systemic approach to promoting well-being. We have built in strategies to promote mental health and well-being amongst all community members, identified additional strategies to support those with concerns about coping, and outlined priorities to support individuals experiencing mental illness or crisis.

“Our HMHC Strategy focuses not only on building individual coping skills and encouraging help-seeking behaviour, but takes a systemic approach, aiming to create interpersonal and organizational conditions that foster positive mental health,” says Breanna Sawatzky, Mental Health Coordinator at RRC.

“The current strengths and future priorities highlighted in the Roadmap for Action do not belong to one College department or division, as we recognize that becoming a health-promoting institution requires organization-wide collaboration. Students, staff and faculty members all contributed to the creation of this Roadmap, including the selection of priorities.”

To learn more about the HMHC Strategy: Roadmap for Action and RRC’s immediate priorities, please join Sawatzky for: State of Mind: A Community Exchange on Friday, April 9, from 1–2 p.m. This interactive forum will include a short presentation highlighting key aspects of the strategy, followed by discussion.

College announces new programs and spaces to attract, grow and retain talent in Manitoba

March 24, 2021

Red River College is calling all videographers ready to roll camera on a career in digital film and media production, all developers and analysts looking to crack new codes in data science and machine learning, and all gamers ready to “level up” by turning their online passion into a job in game development and design — just a few of the new programs slated to launch this fall, many of them at the state-of-the-art Innovation Centre downtown.

The roster of new programs includes:

“Red River College’s programs are uniquely designed in collaboration with employers to ensure our learners are prepared to be adaptive and creative — and to become leaders in their industries — at a time when these critical skills are more important than ever,” says RRC President Fred Meier. “The launch of new programs is about anticipating the needs of our workforce and designing programs that align with the labour market needs, so that we can continue to grow and retain talent right here in Manitoba.”

With the opening of the Innovation Centre and expansion of its Exchange District Campus, RRC is poised to introduce the most new programs ever launched at once.

All of the programs will expand the College’s capacity for putting students and industry partners to work on real-world projects geared towards solving problems — and creating opportunities — in important, emerging sectors of our economy.

“Innovation will be critical to our city’s future growth and business leaders have consistently told us they need access to a strong pipeline of talent to grow their companies,” says Dayna Spiring, President and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg.

“RRC is developing the right kind of programs, innovative spaces and training that companies want and need. This is very important when we’re trying to sell Winnipeg to the world and attract new business and talent to our city. It also provides an incentive for local companies to expand, because they know they will have access to highly skilled workers when they need them.”

Once opened, the Innovation Centre will also house a number of RRC’s signature programs in such areas as Indigenous education, applied commerce and management, and creative arts, and will be the new home of its Language Training Centre and Applied Computer Education (ACE) Project Space.

“Red River College continues to be a key pillar in developing talent for Manitoba’s interactive digital media industry. We are thrilled that they are putting a strong emphasis on video game development with their newly designed programs, and it’s even more exciting that they will be delivered from this new state-of-the-art space,” says Louie Ghiz, Executive Director at New Media Manitoba.

“Our local game development sector is constantly evolving and has the potential for explosive growth with the addition of these new programs that will help train even more people. Together we can grow and thrive in alignment with the booming global video game development industry.” Read More →

Manitoba Metis Federation increases support for Métis students at RRC

March 10, 2021

Red River College has been able to support more Métis students in need, thanks to an additional donation by the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) and the Louis Riel Institute (LRI).

The Louis Riel Bursaries are available to any full- or part-time RRC students requiring financial assistance who hold citizenship (or are eligible for citizenship) with the Métis Nation. Since 2014, the bursaries have helped 174 Métis students achieve academic success.

The MMF’s donation has been matched by the Manitoba Scholarship and Bursary Initiative (MSBI), making more than $400,000 available and enabling the College to support more than 80 students who have applied for this year’s bursary

“This generous donation comes at a pivotal time for many students,” says RRC President Fred Meier. “The immediate assistance makes a direct impact on the lives of students who are working hard towards completing their education, but may be struggling due to COVID-19 or other factors. A bursary can be a critical support and the motivation a student needs to keep going and focus on training for their future career.”

Meara Grant, a fourth-year student in RRC’s Bachelor of Nursing program, received the bursary this year and said it was a huge relief.

“I have been struggling to pay my bills and manage good grades throughout school, especially with times like these,” she says. “This support has taken a tremendous amount of stress off of my shoulders. It has allowed me to focus more time on my clinical placement, and pursue my dreams as a nurse.”

Grant will be completing her senior practicum in the Selkirk Regional Health Centre’s emergency department next month. After graduation, she plans to work as a nurse for a few years before returning to school to obtain her Masters of Nursing and become a Nurse Practitioner.

“Education is so important for our Nation’s growth and prosperity,” says MMF President David Chartrand. “The Métis government in Manitoba has worked hard to get to a place where we can provide our youth with the necessary funding for their education, so they have the chance to find meaningful work and achieve greater financial security.”

Since establishing the bursaries, the MMF and LRI have provided $800,000 to Métis students at RRC as part of the mission to advance education and training for Metis people in Manitoba, and to foster an understanding and appreciation of the culture, heritage and history of the province and its Métis people. Read More →

Join the Manitoba stop of the Virtual Regional Sounding Tour

March 4, 2021

Participate in the Virtual Regional Sounding Tour, a cross-country dialogue with Canadians, and share your thoughts on how the Future Skills Centre – Centre des Compétences futures (FSC–CCF) can best meet Manitoba’s priorities.

Red River College is proud to again take part in this event, along with our partners from the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce.

Taking place Thursday, March 11, from 1–3pm, this year’s event builds on the success of the 2019-20 Regional Sounding Tour, but will continue the conversation with a focus on how the country has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, what the path to recovery looks like, and how the FSC can help.

For this second round of local conversations, join us from the comfort of your home, office or home office. You’ll have opportunities to discuss how the country has been impacted by COVID-19, what this means for the future of work, the impacts on the labour force market in your province, and what the path to recovery will be.

This virtual event will start with a brief introduction to the Future Skills Centre’s mandate, objectives, findings from last year’s Regional Sounding Tour, and current activities the FSC is undertaking.

You’ll then break out into smaller conversations to learn more about the challenges and possibilities of supporting workforce opportunities for individual communities and industries in the province of Manitoba. Your contribution to the discussion will help inform the Future Skills Centre’s research and innovation investment strategies for the coming year.

This event has a limited capacity. Register now to secure your spot and ensure your voice is heard.

Fusing passion and potential to spark careers in welding

March 3, 2021

Monique Moneas with welding equipmentSince she was a little girl, Monique Moneas has known she wanted to work in the trades.

Unfortunately, stigmas steered her in another direction for years — until she saw an advertisement for a welding program at Red River College that lit a spark inside her.

“I started reading more about the program and couldn’t get over how perfect it sounded for me,” says Moneas. “Growing up, you quickly learn there’s a stigma around women working in trades. I didn’t want to let that stereotype hold me back anymore.”

Moneas is now a student in the College’s Welding Pre-Apprenticeship program, a pre-employment certificate offering that guides participants to an apprenticeship track where they can begin working towards Red Seal certification.

“The program is open to people with little to no trades experience who want to enter the field,” says Aaron Brown, liaison and advisor to the program. “We provide students with the knowledge and tools they need to be successful as an entry-level welder”.

The program runs for a total of 33 weeks, during which students earn credit for their Level 1 technical training. It also includes an eight-week paid work placement where students can prove themselves on the job to potential employers.

Tuition, books, tools and personal protective equipment are also completely covered at no cost to students. Delivered in partnership with Conestoga College, the program is fully funded by the Government of Canada Skilled Trades Awareness Readiness (STAR) program. Read More →

College launches disposable mask recycling program

March 2, 2021

Red River College is tossing masks into the recycling bin and keeping them out of the landfill.

While a lot of people have chosen to wear reusable masks during the pandemic, many others are using disposable masks out of preference or necessity. Together, these masks amount to a staggering amount of waste.

To help keep people safe, RRC distributes more than 6,000 disposable masks every month to students, staff and visitors to its campuses. That’s why the polytechnic — which has continued to fuel the economy by providing hands-on training during the pandemic — is proud to launch a disposable mask recycling program.

“We’ve set up disposable mask recycling boxes at our Notre Dame Campus, located outdoors in high-traffic areas,” says Sara MacArthur, Director of Campus Planning and Sustainability. “As people leave our buildings, they can take off and toss their masks into one of the boxes to be recycled.”

Once a recycling box is full, it’s securely sealed and safely stored for 72 hours. After that, it’s sent to a facility in New Jersey, where the masks are disassembled, sorted and bundled for new use.

The metal nose pieces are smelted into bar stock and metal sheeting, the polypropylene face covering is crushed to make composite decking, shipping pallets and other products, and the ear bands are ground into a fine mesh to mix with other recycled products. Read More →