It began as a conversation between RRC Polytech and industry leader Dr. Gerry Price in Spring 2021 about the increasingly vulnerable state of manufacturing in Manitoba, and his question: how can we work together to advance the sector?
The journey to the answer — spanning two years of deep conversations with industry, government and other stakeholders — sets the stage for today’s announcement of the Price Institute of Advanced Manufacturing and Mechatronics.
The news is anchored by a $10-million gift from the Price Family Foundation — the largest in RRC Polytech’s history — along with more than $3 million from the federal government and $4.86 million from the province for capital and program development, as well as ongoing operating costs. These three gifts bring the College’s comprehensive campaign, In Front of What’s Ahead, closer to its $60-million goal, with a current total of $51.5 million raised to date.
Today’s $17.86-million investment in the Institute will allow RRC Polytech to bridge critical skills and labour gaps in the sector, spur applied research activities within the sector’s many small-to-medium enterprise (SME) employers and foster an innovation ecosystem where industry-education partnerships shift the technologies disrupting the sector from threats to opportunities.
“As Manitoba’s polytechnic, RRC Polytech is strongly positioned to partner with stakeholders and help usher in a new era of opportunity for one of Manitoba’s most valued economic drivers,” says Fred Meier, RRC Polytech President and CEO. “We are expanding training opportunities and applied research in manufacturing, and it is only possible because of the vision and the commitment of Dr. Gerry Price and the Price Family Foundation, as well as the Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba.”
The Manitoba chapter of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) recently reported that it had 2,130 job vacancies in the third quarter of 2022, citing a shortage of advanced skills that are not currently being trained in the province. The Price Institute will directly respond to the skills shortage by training new workers, and by upskilling and reskilling existing workers.
Scheduled for a phased launch beginning in Fall 2023, the Institute features a range of new programs and firsts for RRC Polytech, including:
- Two post-graduate diplomas (one in advanced manufacturing, one in mechatronics) that boost the annual graduate output of RRC Polytech’s engineering technology programs by 150 per cent.
- A project space to drive innovation and technology transfer in automation and manufacturing for SMEs and facilitate student-led research activities.
- Flexible, micro-credentialing options to upskill and reskill up to 1,000 employees each year, including Western Canada’s first offering of the internationally recognized and accredited Siemens Mechatronics Systems Certification Program (Levels I and II), which kickstarts phase one of the Institute’s launch this fall.
- Manitoba’s first Applied Research Chair in Advanced Manufacturing. Read More →