First class of students welcomed to new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre

August 28, 2018

This week, thousands of students began their studies at Red River College campuses across the province, including — for the first time ever — at RRC’s new 104,000-sq. ft., state-of-the-art Skilled Trades and Technology Centre.

The new STTC will increase trades and technology training spaces at RRC’s Notre Dame Campus by more than 30 per cent, and will prepare up to 1,000 students a year for careers in high-demand industries including carpentry, electrical, and mechanical and manufacturing.

The facility is home to new classrooms, labs and shop space, and is expected to play a key role in boosting Manitoba’s workforce by 75,000 highly trained people by 2020.

In addition to opening the doors of the STTC, the College will also mark a number of other back-to-school milestones this month, including a new series of student orientation sessions, the launch of new programs, awards and bursary opportunities, and a full slate of events and activities hosted by the RRC Students’ Association.

“The first day of school is always a mix of excitement and nerves, whether it’s the start of a new program or the start of another year in a student’s educational journey,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

“We look forward to welcoming students back to our nine campuses across Manitoba, and — for the first time — to our dynamic new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre, a facility equipped with the latest in teaching technology and hands-on learning spaces.”

Last year, RRC welcomed more than 22,000 students through its doors over the course of the academic year. While current enrolment figures are still being tallied, early indications suggest most programs are near-capacity or full.

Construction begins on new Innovation Centre downtown

July 20, 2018

With funding now in place, Red River College is moving forward this week with construction of its new $95-million Innovation Centre, plans for which had to be put on hold while financial arrangements were sorted out earlier this year.

College President Paul Vogt received confirmation from the government recently that the $40.6 million in funding required for the project is now secure, and the College can begin issuing tenders so that construction can get underway.

On Wednesday, stakeholders gathered at site of the new Centre — at 319 Elgin Ave., right across the street from RRC’s Roblin Centre — to learn more about how the College’s latest expansion plan will help transform the Exchange District.

“For those of you who have been following this project closely, and have been wondering if we are still moving forward, let me be the first to say ‘yes,’ we are very proud to be starting construction,” Vogt said Wednesday.

“Nothing gets built without a vision. And right now it excites me to visualize that in a few short years we’re going to be able to look across the street from here and see a hub for creative innovation.”

Construction of the new Centre is slated to be complete by the fall of 2020. Once open, it will serve as the home of RRC’s business and information technology programs, as well as its Language Training Centre, ACE (Applied Computer Education) Project Space, and Research Partnerships & Innovation office. Read More →

Portage Campus recognized as chimney swift champion

May 30, 2018

Red River College’s Portage Campus has a vacancy for some feathered friends.

For its efforts in restoring an old chimney to create a hospitable habitat for birds, RRC has been presented with the Swift Champion award from the Manitoba Chimney Swift Initiative (MCSI). Over the summer of 2017, two swifts were spotted using the chimney a number of times, indicating the restoration was a success.

“We’re honoured to accept the Swift Champion award and to continue our role in protecting the chimney swifts,” says Guy Moffat, Portage Campus Manager. “It’s been amazing to see the work our facilities team has put in to restoring the chimney, and to be able to witness the swifts flying in and out of their summer home. Part of RRC’s Strategic Plan includes fostering sustainable growth – not just for the College, but for the entire province. This is just one way we contribute.”

The chimney swift is a small brown bird, often described as a “cigar with wings,” that enjoys roosting and breeding in brick chimneys. The species’ population has declined significantly in Canada since the 1970s and is now listed on both the provincial and federal Species at Risk registries.

When a volunteer from MCSI noticed upgrades being made to the Portage Campus chimney in 2016, they let the College know it had been identified as a designated chimney swift habitat.

That awareness resulted in changes to the original repair plans, which would have closed off the chimney with a metal cap. Now the top of the brick chimney remains intact, with an opening that allows swifts to enter and roost. The College’s efforts also ensure toxic gases won’t collect in the nesting area. Read More →

College announces new programs, positions to advance Indigenous education in Manitoba

April 26, 2018

RRC Indigenous EducationRed River College has announced new and enhanced programs — and more supports for Indigenous learners than ever before — as part of its strategic plan to grow its student population and chart a bold, new path forward for Indigenous Education.

“Red River College is proud to be a key signatory to the Manitoba Collaborative Indigenous Education Blueprint, and we are fully committed to providing the student-centred and culturally relevant supports necessary to help aspiring students successfully transition from community to classroom to career,” says Rebecca Chartrand, RRC’s Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy.

“Over the last year, we have been working to create better access to programs, new training opportunities, and more pathways to post-secondary education for our Indigenous learners. We have taken important steps forward as a College community to grow and provide our students with the wrap-around supports and services they need to succeed.”

This fall, the College will launch five new programs for Indigenous learners:

  • ACCESS Health Pathway Program
  • ACCESS Engineering Pathway Program
  • Social Enterprise Diploma Program
  • Indigenous Languages Certificate Program
  • Indigenous Culinary Skills Certificate Program

ACCESS programs provide learners with preparatory, exploratory and transitional experience, while the remaining three programs aim to grow Indigenous representation within their respective sectors. The culinary program, for example, will provide courses aimed at developing fundamental culinary and business skills, and will include a cultural component and land-based curriculum. The social enterprise program will focus on the principles of economic reconciliation and how it relates to the Canadian social economy. It will help students address and solve challenges in urban or rural communities. Read More →

RRC named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for eighth year running

April 19, 2018

Honey extraction 2017An expanded urban beekeeping program, a renewed focus on active transportation, and two LEED Gold-designated buildings are just three of the initiatives that landed Red River College on Canada’s Greenest Employer list for the eighth straight year.

The annual award recognizes RRC’s environmentally friendly policies and programs, which continue to engage staff in sustainability efforts — on campus and at home. In surveys conducted over the past two years, 90 per cent of RRC staff and faculty said they believe sustainability needs to be a priority in all College operations. The topic continues to be a key strategic priority for RRC, and is a fundamental part of the College’s Strategic Plan.

“Through the efforts of our Sustainability Office, and the commitment of our entire College community, RRC continues to be a champion of sustainability in Manitoba,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

“Every day on campus there are innovating and engaging activities that create a sustainable culture and educate our staff and students about the roles they can play. Everything from pledging to power down over Earth Day, to learning about the energy reduction methods we use in our state-of-the-art buildings, to engaging in active transportation strengthens our overall commitment to sustainability.”

Last summer, RRC expanded its urban beekeeping initiative in partnership with Beeproject Apiaries. Three hives were installed on the rooftop of the Notre Dame Campus, complementing the three hives put in place on the fourth-floor patio of the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute the prior year.

The new hives doubled RRC’s seasonal yield to more than 150 kilograms of honey, which is used as an ingredient in Culinary Arts and Professional Baking programs, and is sold at the College-run farmers markets held throughout the year. Read More →

Government support helps RRC reach new heights in aviation and aeronautics training

April 16, 2018

Red River College Stevenson CampusThe Province of Manitoba is helping Red River College reach new heights in aviation and aeronautics training by supporting the acquisition of its successful Stevenson Campus, Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart announced today.

“Our government recognizes the leadership shown by Red River College in the purchase of their campus property, where they provide essential training for Manitobans in a skilled and high-demand industry,” says Wishart.

“This is a fiscally responsible plan that will help ensure many more people can pursue a career in aeronautics and learn in an exceptional environment with industry leaders and experts.”

The provincial government enabled the purchase of the Stevenson Campus by approving RRC’s plan to borrow up to $8 million to acquire the previously leased facility. (The College requires government approval to borrow, as set out by The Red River College Act.)

By purchasing the campus from its landlord, Hubert Kleysen, RRC will save nearly $1 million over the term of the mortgage and will have greater flexibility to grow and adapt its renowned aviation and aeronautics programs.

“Red River College works shoulder-to-shoulder with industry to deliver cutting-edge training at our Stevenson Campus, and to provide students with the job-ready skills they need to compete here at home, and on a national and global stage,” says RRC President Paul.

“By acquiring our campus – with the support of the provincial government – we will continue to provide strong workforce training for Manitoba’s aerospace and aviation sector, which is one of the largest in Canada. This move will make us more agile and ensure that we are successful for generations to come.” Read More →

RRC hosts ‘Indspire’ students from across Canada

March 23, 2018

Indspire/Soaring conference, 2018More than 200 Indigenous high school students from across the country will visit Red River College today to tour classrooms, meet instructors and explore the many career opportunities and supports available to them, as part of this year’s Soaring: Indigenous Youth Empowerment Gathering.

“Engaging more Indigenous students and providing more pathways to post-secondary education and training is a key priority,” says Rebecca Chartrand, RRC’s Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy.

“The College is charting a new path forward focused on elevating Indigenous student success, and we are creating new and enhanced programs and supports in order to recruit and retain more Indigenous students, and ensure they have the tools and wraparound supports they need in succeed and thrive.”

While at RRC (the Host College Sponsor for this year’s event), students will explore 11 program areas currently offered or in development, including Indigenous Social Enterprise, Construction Trades, Allied Health Sciences, and Civil Engineering Technology.

“We are excited to welcome high school students from coast-to-coast to our province and our school, and provide an opportunity for them to visit our campus, meet our industry-leading instructors, and interact with the many rewarding career paths and supports available to them,” says Chartrand.

Organized by Indspire, a national charity that invests in Indigenous education, the Soaring gathering provides First Nation, Inuit and Métis students with opportunities to learn about career and post-secondary education options. Gatherings are held across Canada, giving students the chance to take part in motivational career workshops, learn about financial supports, and meet some of Canada’s top employers.

Winnipeg Jets exec brings mental health talk to RRC

March 12, 2018

Craig Heisinger, Winnipeg JetsWinnipeg Jets senior executive Craig “Zinger” Heisinger will trade the hockey rink for the presenter’s podium this week, when he meets with College students and staff to discuss his personal connection with mental health, and why he feels it’s so important to keep the conversation going.

Heisinger’s noon-hour visit on Tuesday is part of RRC’s Healthy Minds Healthy College initiative, established four years ago to create a healthy College community, enhance mental health literacy, and better meet the mental health needs of students, staff and faculty.

“We are honoured to have such a well-known and respected member of the hockey community — and the mental health community — here to help us keep the conversation about mental health awareness going on campus,” says Breanna Sawatzky, RRC’s Mental Health Coordinator.

“Events like this are an integral part of our Healthy Minds Healthy College initiative, because they let those who may be struggling know they are not alone, and there are supports available. Mental illness knows no boundaries — it affects all of us, from post-secondary students to NHL hockey players.”

Heisinger is the Senior Vice-President & Director, Hockey Operations, and the Assistant General Manager of the Winnipeg Jets. He was close with Manitoba Moose forward Rick Rypien, who struggled with mental illness and ultimately died in 2011.

Rypien’s legacy lives on through the True North Youth Foundation’s Project 11 and through Zinger, who visits local schools throughout the year, sharing Rick’s story and raising awareness of mental health. Read More →

Cupcakes, condoms and consent: RRC students to explore healthy relationships

February 12, 2018

Cupcakes and Condoms graphicJust in time for Valentine’s Day, students at Red River College will have the opportunity to talk about intimate relationships and related issue — such as the importance of consent — in an interactive workshop aimed at promoting better health and well-being.

Taking place at noon on Tue., Feb. 13, the College’s first-ever Cupcakes and Condoms event was facilitated by Klinic Community Health and the Sexual Education Resource Centre (SERC), and delivered as part of RRC’s Healthy Minds Healthy College (HMHC) Initiative.

Breanna Sawatzky, Mental Health Coordinator at RRC, says it’s important for students to have access to workshops such as this one, so they can feel empowered to make healthy decisions.

“We know that strong, healthy relationships — whether intimate or platonic — are key to personal well-being,” Sawatzky says.

“The Public Health Agency of Canada found that adults with strong relationships are more likely to report high life satisfaction and good mental health. Conversely, experiencing disrespect, harassment, abuse and sexual assault take a toll on one’s mental health and well-being, and are risk factors for developing certain mental illnesses.”

Through the HMHC initiative, RRC hosts several events each year to help students, staff and faculty dealing with mental health problems, while promoting wellness, recovery and resilience for all. Read More →

College expands English language training to four regional sites in Manitoba

February 2, 2018

RRC Language Training CentreOver the last year, Red River College has opened four new Language Training Centres (LTCs) throughout Manitoba, providing access to critical language skills programming for an additional 250 students.

The College’s LTC in Winnipeg, which already trains more than 1,000 newcomers every year, has recently expanded programming to Arborg, Steinbach, Thompson and Selkirk. The five-month programs are provided at no charge to students, with costs covered by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

The LTC s offer English Language Learning programs as well as English for Specific Purposes programs. The former focuses on competency-based programs for students developing language proficiency for further education, employment, or settlement and daily life, while the latter focuses on learning English in a way that will further training opportunities, or employment in a specific job market.

“We are proud that more than 60 per cent of our English as a Second Language and English for a Specific Purpose programs are linked to employment outcomes,” says Kerri Caldwell Korabelnikov, director of the Language Training Centre at RRC.

“What that means is that we’re helping our students achieve their goals and connecting them either directly with employers, or with the resources necessary to find work in their chosen careers. I know this success will continue with the expansion. The areas we have expanded in have shown they are in need of language training services for newcomers, and we’re happy to fill that need and help strengthen those communities.” Read More →