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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 →

Holiday hours in effect on campuses until Monday, Jan. 4

December 24, 2020

Red River College will once again operate on restricted holiday hours beginning at noon on Thursday, Dec. 24.

During the break, general access to the Notre Dame and Exchange District Campuses will be available during the following hours:

Date Access
Dec. 24 Open until noon
Dec. 24 at noon through Dec. 26 Closed (no access)
Dec. 27–31 Open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Jan. 1–3 Closed (no access)
Jan. 4 Open (regular hours resume)

 

During restricted hours, entry to the Notre Dame Campus will be permitted through the East Plaza door of Building C. Entry to the Roblin Centre will be permitted through the North Atrium doors.

Sign-in and sign-out procedures will be in effect and visitors will need to present their College identification cards upon arrival.

Regular hours of operation will resume on Monday, Jan. 4 at 7 a.m.

We wish you a healthy and happy holiday season.

More than 100 Bachelor of Nursing grads join Manitoba’s front lines

December 17, 2020

Bachelor of Nursing pinToday, 109 graduates from Red River College’s Bachelor of Nursing program will receive their nursing pins at a special Virtual Pinning Ceremony, marking the completion of their degrees and the beginning of their careers as they join Manitoba’s front lines.

“Red River College is proud to train and prepare our health-care professionals with the skills and expertise they need to successfully enter the workforce, and provide the critical health human resources that our province needs now more than ever,” says Dr. Christine Watson, RRC’s Vice-President Academic.

“The Bachelor of Nursing students receiving their pins today have risen to every challenge this pandemic has thrown their way. They have demonstrated they are ready to put their training into action, to help those who need them most, and to make a real difference. We are thrilled to celebrate their hard work and dedication with this special virtual celebration.”

The pinning ceremony is an important ceremonial milestone for new nurses that dates back to the 12th century. It is often associated with Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, who presented medals of excellence to the nursing graduates of her London school. The presentation of the nursing pin to graduates celebrates their success as students and the promise of their future in the profession.

This year has proven to be especially challenging for Nursing grads, many of whom have had to complete their senior practicums while working on the front lines in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve always known that I wanted to be a nurse. Helping others and caring for patients is something that I care deeply about, so I knew this would never be just a job for me — it would be something I would commit my life to,” says Lauren Lacroix, RRC Bachelor of Nursing graduate, class of 2020.

“Completing nursing school isn’t easy — you have to learn to adapt, to prioritize and work under pressure — and this has been especially true this year while working to complete our practicums in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Receiving our pins today symbolizes the fact that we did it, and on those really hard days it serves as an important reminder of everything we have overcome to get here, and of our commitment to make a difference in the lives of the patients we care for.” Read More →

College hosts dialogue on anti-racism in higher education

November 23, 2020

Racism continues to lurk in college classrooms and decision-making tables, but there are steps we can take as organizations and individuals to make our campuses safer and more welcoming for all members of our community.

That was the resounding takeaway from last Wednesday’s virtual platform discussion, Anti-Racism: A Dialogue about Transforming Higher Education, hosted by RRC and the Red River College Students’ Association. (You can watch a recording of the event here.)

Over 300 RRC students and staff participated in the online event. The discussion was led by panelists from across the country who brought diverse experiences, insights and perspectives to a lively and wide-ranging conversation about what post-secondary institutions — and the people who work and study there — can do to combat racism.

The large turnout reflected a high level of commitment to anti-racism as acts of intolerance and hatred continue to rise around the world, says Melanie Gudmundson, Chief Human Resources Officer at RRC.

“We’ve done a lot as a college to create policies and initiatives that protect and support the diversity of our students and staff, because that diversity — and the different points of view it brings to our College — are one of our greatest strengths. Our goal for this event is to hear some of those voices and inspire further, concrete action. There is still much work to do. The number of people who turned out for the event shows how high a priority this is for our community as a whole.”

Conversations about racism are never easy, she adds, but they’re essential to creating space for change.

“We may not know how to start the conversation, or what to say, but silence is not an option.”

Priyanji Mediwake, RRC’s Diversity and Inclusion Specialist and one of the event’s organizers, says some of these actions are already underway, including the recent launch of a new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion strategy, and recruitment plans to ensure greater diversity at the College and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) representation among senior, mid-level and front-line leaders.

“RRC’s new Diversity Champions team, which includes staff and faculty representation from each School and Department across the College, is another first step to enhancing conversations and actions.”

Leading the panel were Eternity Martis, an award-winning Toronto-based journalist; Jason Mercredi, whose work helps rebuild Indigenous governance systems; and Zilla Jones, a Winnipeg criminal defense lawyer who specializes in challenging abuses of police authority. Read More →

New training program launched to address workforce challenges at personal care homes

November 20, 2020

The Manitoba government and Red River College are partnering to support resident care in personal care homes during the pandemic through the launch of a COVID-19 health-care support worker micro-credential, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen announced yesterday.

“Ensuring the appropriate care and support is available to residents of Manitoba personal care homes is a top priority as we see the strain that COVID-19 is placing on personal care home workforce,” said Friesen. “We must do everything possible to ensure we have staff to support the care needs of residents in our long-term care homes. This requires an immediate increase in the available workforce and this new training program addresses this goal.”

The College will offer a week-long condensed, high-intensity training program that will train students to work as uncertified health-care aides (UHCAs) and create immediate employment opportunities for Manitobans, including students currently enrolled in a health sciences faculty or program.

These workers will support all members of the resident care team, assisting with resident care and support under the general supervision of a manager or nursing supervisor. Duties may include resident observation, companionship, redirection, stocking of supplies and more.

“As part of our continued efforts, we’ve established a Rapid Execution and Deployment Team that will continue to create new and innovative solutions to offer our expertise, facilities and network of campuses to support all Manitobans in response to COVID-19,” said RRC President Fred Meier.

“I am proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish to aid in our provincial response, and I want to commend our staff, faculty and instructors for continuing to step up and support our communities.”

The course will include a combination of virtual and in-class education, and consists of five days of theory offered virtually and two days of in-person skills education. Starting Nov. 30, it will be offered to students in Winnipeg, Selkirk, Steinbach, Winkler and Portage la Prairie, with opportunities to offer the course in additional communities in rural and northern Manitoba being explored.

Eligible students must be over the age of 18 and possess a minimum of a Grade 10 education. Experience in direct care is not a pre-requisite, and the course is being offered tuition-free with a commitment to provide service in a personal care home for a period of three months following completion.

Interested individuals must apply to the COVID-19 casual pool and select the location where they prefer to complete the training. The deadline to apply for the first intake of students is Monday, Nov. 23. Read More →

College’s COVID-19 micro-credential training in high demand

October 23, 2020

Today, Red River College and the Manitoba government announced three additional intakes to the COVID-19 micro-credential to further expand testing efforts in Winnipeg, with plans already underway to offer training opportunities to health-care professionals in specific areas of rural Manitoba.

“The health and safety of Manitobans remains our top priority as we continue to expand our efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within our community,” says Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen.

“Increasing testing is key as we work to reduce wait times and improve access for all Manitobans, and this includes an adaptive and highly skilled workforce. Through this partnership with Red River College, we are training additional health-care workers to immediately redeploy to screening centres where their assistance is helping to reduce wait times and provide better service.”

The micro-credential, which trains health-care workers and students to safely perform a nasal swab on adults and children to collect samples to test for the virus, was announced earlier this month and is in high demand. In less than 24 hours, RRC filled the first three sections, while maintaining a wait-list of nearly 120 students.

The three additional intakes announced today will be offered weekly — with the first beginning on Nov. 9 — and will run until Nov. 27. These new sections are already filling quickly and RRC is on track to train over 180 health-care professionals and students to safely perform sample collections at authorized COVID-19 test sites, further supporting testing efforts in the province.

The first group of students, who started the course on Monday, will complete their training today and will be ready to enter the workforce as early as next week. Read More →

RRC adopts groundbreaking sexual violence reporting tool

September 30, 2020

REES posterRed River College has partnered with EVA (Ending Violence Across) Manitoba to launch a new online tool that will empower students, staff and instructors to anonymously report sexual assaults on campus, and access the support they need.

The College joins 10 other Manitoban post-secondary institutions in adopting the REES (Respect Educate Empower Survivors) reporting tool, offering a customized version of the platform that links to specific RRC supports, information and resources.

“Our students and staff have a right to learn and work in an environment that is free from sexual violence in all its forms. REES will help ensure that our campuses are safe places, and that survivors are heard and supported,” says Fred Meier, President and CEO, Red River College.

The REES platform also helps individuals who have experienced sexual violence complete a reporting form that captures all the key information about an incident through a secure online form.

The user chooses what happens next: they can keep the report for their personal records and never share it, or they can decide to provide a copy to their educational institution or to the police.

The decision to report is a personal one, says Jess Spindler, RRC’s Resource and Resolution Advisor.

“No one should feel pressured to do something that makes them feel uncomfortable, but reporting does mean the matter can be addressed. When you make a report, the College must look into the matter, support your safety, and take appropriate corrective action to stop inappropriate behaviour and prevent future reoccurrences.

“The current North American data tells us that 1 in 5 female-identifying students experience sexual violence while attending post-secondary. The real number is likely higher because sexual violence is significantly underreported. Statistics Canada has noted that more than 8 of every 10 sexual assaults in Canada are never reported to police.” Read More →

Getting it done, at home: Winkler Campus allows nursing student to reach career goals

September 15, 2020

Suzy DueckAfter dropping out of high school to help support her family, Suzy Dueck didn’t think she’d be someone who could pursue a post-secondary education.

But next spring, she’ll graduate from Red River College’s Bachelor of Nursing program at the Winkler Campus. Having the accessible option to study and train in her home community — without needing to move or commute to Winnipeg — is what she says gave her the chance to do it.

In 2014, Dueck took the first steps to becoming a college student by enrolling at RRC’s Winkler Community Learning Centre (WCLC) to receive her high school diploma.

“The instructors were very supportive — and the fact that it was self-directed was helpful. The flexibility to be able to come during the day or during the evening — there was always somebody there to answer questions and help,” she says.

Not long after Dueck graduated from the WCLC, RRC announced it would be permanently delivering its Nursing program in Winkler and Portage la Prairie beginning in Fall 2018.

“I quickly applied and I got in,” she says. “I did my anatomy and physiology, psychology, stats, pretty much all of the prerequisites were available in Winkler, which was amazing.”

Now 31, Dueck had been working jobs in customer service, fitness and hospitality — which allowed her to make a positive impact on people’s daily lives — when her husband, Albert, planted the seed in her mind that she might enjoy being a nurse.

“I ended up working in a care home and I really fell in love with taking care of people and making a difference,” she says. “My husband is my biggest fan, he’s actually a firefighter and he feels very passionate about helping people. He’s the one that has been pushing me to do more — I feel like he’s my cheerleader and the person that nudges me to push myself beyond what I thought I could do.” Read More →

New RRC president hits the ground running, with an eye to the future

September 3, 2020

Fred Meier has spent his first few weeks as Red River College’s president and CEO focused on making connections and building momentum towards a fall academic term unlike any other in the College’s 82-year history.

Adjusting to any new leadership role can be challenging enough. But taking the reins during a time of global upheaval and transformation amped up the need for Meier to make every minute count.

“I arrived on day one knowing I was joining an institution that has shaped the lives of many Manitobans and contributed a great deal to our province’s economy,” he says. “What I saw right away was a community of people who have innovated and adapted unbelievably fast to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to keep our students learning.”

Knowing how deeply students and industry partners depend on RRC for skilled training, workforce needs and applied research, Meier invited the Hon. Ralph Eichler, Minister of Economic Development and Training, on a tour of RRC’s Notre Dame Campus to highlight how the College has prepared its facilities to safely welcome back students for hands-on learning.

“The Minister told me he was impressed by the work we’ve done. I was impressed, too, by the ingenuity of our staff and students and their dedication to moving forward safely.”

Meier says that his leadership vision places a heavy premium on engaging employees, and on ensuring faculty and staff are listened to, valued and supported in their work.

At the end of August, he unveiled the College’s new online Staff Forum, a website designed for employees by employees to connect them with information, resources and collaboration tools quickly and easily.

“Strong internal communication and collaboration are the bedrock of our success as an organization. While this has always been true, the disruptions to our business by COVID-19 make employee engagement a higher priority than ever. Adopting new tools, technologies and strategies to share and learn from one another will continue to be near the top of my list.” Read More →