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RRC Polytech rises to 11th place in ranking of Canadian research colleges

January 27, 2023

RRC Polytech is once again one of Canada’s top research institutions, as announced earlier this week in Re$earch Infosource’s annual ranking of the country’s top 50 research colleges. The College jumped three spots from last year’s 14th place position.

RRC Polytech ranks first in the prairies in the category Spotlight on College Research Activity – Medium Tier, and third for research partnerships nationwide. The College completed 93 applied research projects in the 2021 fiscal year.

“Partnerships are at the heart of everything we do at RRC Polytech,” says Jamie Wilson, Vice-President, Indigenous Strategy, Research and Business Development at RRC Polytech.

“We work with industry every day to come up with innovative, sustainable solutions to business problems. Thanks to the support from our partners in the community, industry and government, we can continue to make positive change here in Manitoba and throughout the country.

“This national recognition reinforces that ground-breaking work doesn’t happen in a silo. It takes a community of creative staff, students and industry partners to achieve the results that place us so high on this list.”

An ongoing partnership between RRC Polytech’s Prairie Research Kitchen, Prairie Fava — a Glenboro, Man.-based food startup — and Big Mountain Foods, a Vancouver-based innovator of plant-based consumer packaged goods, that resulted in an award-winning product is just one example of the innovative collaborations completed in the last year.

Another is a recent building airtightness test at Gordon Bell High School completed by RRC Polytech’s Building Efficiency Technology Access Centre (BETAC) that will help the high school reduce energy costs by 50 per cent. Read More →

Manufacturing new career paths: Gene Haas bootcamps offer hands-on training for youth

January 25, 2023

Starting next month, Winnipeg youths with an interest in 3D printing, manufacturing and robotics will have the opportunity to hone their skills and learn about new technologies through one-day bootcamps at RRC Polytech.

The Gene Haas Manufacturing Bootcamps are open to students in Grades 7 and 8 (ages 12 to 14), along with their parents or guardians. Participants will learn how to create things using industry-standard equipment and technology, while exploring some of the many career options in Manitoba’s rapidly growing manufacturing sector.

“RRC Polytech is excited to partner with the Gene Haas Foundation on these camps because we know there is incredible potential for young Winnipeggers in the manufacturing field,” says Mark Blackner, Chair of Electrical, Mechanical and Manufacturing at RRC Polytech.

“It was important for us to include parents and guardians in these camps because often trades and technologies are seen as a dead-end job or back-up plan, which is not the case. Careers in trades and technologies allow people to create things every day, are high-paying and help our communities function and grow.”

Bootcamps run once a month, on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4p.m. They’ll provide participants with training in:

• 3D printing
• Computer aided design (CAD)
• Computer numerical control (CNC) machining
• Industrial robotics

Along with the Gene Haas Foundation and Thomas Skinner (Western Canada’s Haas Automation representative), the College has partnered with Career Trek and Skills Canada Manitoba to bring these bootcamps to life. Read More →

Eight RRC Polytech programs granted national accreditation

November 29, 2022

Today, RRC Polytech marked the accreditation of eight of its programs by Technology Accreditation Canada (TAC).

The accreditation is the result of a comprehensive audit that includes a tour of each program’s labs and student support services, and interviews with its students, faculty, alumni and graduates’ employers.

The eight programs that received accreditation are: 

·      Electronic Engineering Technology 

·      Electrical Engineering Technology 

·      Instrumentation and Control Engineering Technology

·      Mechanical Engineering Technology

·      Structural Engineering Technology

·      Architectural/Engineering Technology

·      Municipal Engineering Technology

·      Environmental Engineering Technology

“Achieving accreditation for these programs is a real win-win,” says Derek Kochenash, Dean, School of Skilled Trades and Technologies at RRC Polytech. “Not only does accreditation open doors to even more career opportunities for our students, it provides our partners in industry with the essential talent to help their organizations achieve their goals. 

“RRC Polytech is grateful to Technology Accreditation Canada for this acknowledgment. The accreditation reflects the high quality of these eight programs, while enhancing graduates’ credentials as they enter the workforce.”

National program accreditation provides students, industry and RRC Polytech with confirmation their program has met defined standards. 

Accreditation also affords graduates an expedited path to certification through the Certified Technicians & Technologists Association of Manitoba (CTTAM) and provincial certifying bodies across Canada.

“We congratulate each program for its commitment to delivering to students a high quality program that meets the current standards of the engineering technology and applied science profession,” says Stephen Morley, Chair of TAC’s board of directors. 

RRC Polytech celebrates 1,200 graduates at fall convocation

November 8, 2022

Today, at its fall convocation ceremony, RRC Polytech will celebrate more than 1,200 graduates as they enter the workforce prepared to face any challenge head on.

“Tonight’s ceremony is just the start for this resilient group of graduates. Acquiring their skills and credentials in an unprecedented period of constant change has added to their employability — they truly deserve a celebration,” says Dr. Christine Watson, Vice-President Academic at RRC Polytech.

“Our convocation ceremonies represent opportunity and optimism, so we’re thrilled everyone can acknowledge this milestone accomplishment together.”

Many of the individuals graduating today completed a significant portion of their learning in a virtual or hybrid setting, and will celebrate their success along with their friends, family and instructors tonight at the RBC Convention Centre.

Among the honorees at tonight’s ceremony is Michael Stewart, RRC Polytech’s 2022 Lieutenant Governor’s Medal recipient. Stewart graduates with honours from the Applied Accounting Certificate program and inspires everyone around him as a tireless volunteer, support worker and advocate in the deaf-blind community.

“From instructors and interpreters to classmates, I am blown away by the generosity, kindness and top-notch service provided by RRC Polytech,” says Stewart. “My education will open so many doors for me as I work toward becoming a chartered professional accountant and achieving my ultimate goal of changing the stigma associated with the ability of deaf-blind Canadians to work and contribute.” Read More →

Program Explorer: A game-changing tool for future students

October 25, 2022

RRC Polytech has launched a game-changing new web tool to help support prospective students as they map out their futures.

The recently unveiled Program Explorer tool, along with newly revised program webpages, will allow prospective students to search for programs according to their specific needs and interests, filtering options based on a set of criteria that includes program type and length, location and credential.

In the past, such details were traditionally shared via print and digital versions of the RRC Polytech Viewbook. With the adoption of a more flexible online platform, this information is now easier to update and more relevant to the prospective student journey.

Program Explorer is also completely independent of RRC Polytech’s online Catalogue, making it easier for the College to update aging infrastructure without having to worry about integration issues.

As student recruitment officer Felipe Matoso explains, the project was driven by his department’s primary goal: providing comprehensive supports to future RRC Polytech students.

“To achieve that goal, we listen to what they need,” says Matoso. “Through conversations with future students, research and collaboration with other areas of the College, we mapped the future student journey — from first hearing about RRC Polytech to submitting an application — and we identified the major gaps and opportunities.

“One of our key findings was that future students needed more relatable content in order to choose a program: examples of alumni success stories, work opportunities after graduation, or cool things that happen in a program, such as co-op placements or other events. We addressed that by creating new program webpages that are very easy to navigate, but also rich in content.” Read More →

Walter and Maria Schroeder recognized with Honorary Bachelor of Education degree

October 20, 2022

Walter and Maria Schroeder, founders of The Schroeder Foundation, are the recipients of an Honorary Bachelor of Education degree from RRC Polytech, in recognition of their dedication to removing barriers to education for Manitoba youth.

“We are elated to present Walter and Maria Schroeder with an honorary degree to celebrate our shared commitment in removing learning barriers,” says RRC Polytech President Fred Meier. “The additional support they provide students helps set them up for success. Transitions to post-secondary can be challenging, but the Foundation’s efforts to engage directly with students and their families helps youth thrive during their time here and beyond.”

The Schroeders grew up in Winnipeg and have always believed in helping others. In 1976, Walter created a new Canadian-based bond rating agency called Dominion Bond Rating Service, which became one of the world’s premier agencies. After selling their company, the Schroeders focused their energy on philanthropy and created The Schroeder Foundation.

“We believe in the power of education, and access should be available for all,” says Walter. “We are so grateful to be receiving this honorary degree from RRC Polytech.”

“When we were young and growing up in Winnipeg, we benefited from the generosity of others, and now it is our turn to extend that same support to students in our hometown,” adds Maria.

Since 2019, The Schroeder Foundation has funded 135 full scholarships to RRC Polytech, with wrap-around supports such as tutoring, guidance and academic coaching. The Foundation has devoted its resources to improving health and education services across Canada, with a particular focus on supporting Winnipeg’s high school students in the North End.

Over the last two years, the Foundation has provided 190 full post-secondary scholarships to RRC Polytech, the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg. The Foundation also awards over 10 full scholarships to Vancouver Film School each year to extraordinary students in Sisler High School’s CREATE program. This is in addition to the 700+ merit awards provided annually to students at St. John’s High School, Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute and Sisler High School.

RRC Polytech launches new Portage Innovation Centre with contest for young entrepreneurs

September 22, 2022

This weekend, entrepreneurs and innovators (aged 15–30) will have the chance to win $1,000 dollars towards starting their new business, during the Portage Innovation Centre’s grand opening event: Innovate to Launch.

The new Centre, located at RRC Polytech’s Portage Campus, was created through a partnership between the College and Communities Building Youth Futures to provide access to equipment, expertise and training for entrepreneurs and makers in Portage la Prairie and the surrounding area.

“RRC Polytech is a proud partner in this new initiative that will provide office spaces, shared meeting rooms and access to a fabrication laboratory with a 3D printer, Cricut 3 machine, heavy duty sewing machine, laser engraver and a multi-function printer,” says Guy Moffat, Regional Manager at the Portage Campus. “We’re excited to also provide the assistance of RRC Polytech students and human resources support as these young entrepreneurs launch new businesses.”

The Portage Innovation Centre, located in the lower level of the campus, is free/low-cost space for young entrepreneurs and innovators to launch businesses. Community partners will provide free workshops to all applicants on the essentials of starting a business or venture, including legal and accounting advice.

“Finding ways that young people in this community can stretch their entrepreneurial muscles is always a good thing,” says Chuck Davidson, CEO and President, Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. “When the community is able to come together like this, it allows incredible business ideas to come to life and helps create vibrant communities, economic development, entrepreneurial success and a strong future for Manitoba.”

Innovate to Launch is a three-day (Sept. 22–24) innovation contest hosted by the Portage Innovation Centre where innovators will compete for a $1,000 prize — as well as free office space for a year — by writing a pitch for a new business idea. Each team or individual will be a assigned a mentor to help them with their idea and work through their pitch. Judges will decide on three winners and the top 10 teams will be offered $20 a month towards software or tools to develop their business.

A grand opening of the Portage Innovation Centre will take place on Sat., Sept.24 from 12:00–1:00 p.m. Members of the public are welcome to tour the space, including the fabrication laboratory.

RRC Polytech launches new Orange Shirt Day design by local artist Peatr Thomas

June 21, 2022

Local artist Peatr Thomas, seated near one of his outdoor muralsRRC Polytech is proud to have worked with local artist Peatr Thomas on an original design for Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters, in support of the Mínwastánikéwin Truth and Reconciliation Award, created in partnership between the College’s School of Indigenous Education and its Campus Store.

Thomas is an Ininew and Anishinaabe self-taught, full-time multi-disciplinary artist from the Pimicikamak and Miskooseepi territories. A youth facilitator for many years, he is sharing passed-down knowledge, traditional teachings, culture and the healing process by creating visual forms of art.

“Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters and truth and reconciliation have become such a large part of the College community, and we can see how it has been embraced through the engagement and attendance of our events and workshops, but also through the funds we have raised for the Mínwastánikéwin Truth and Reconciliation Award and the Indigenous students we’ve been able to support so far,” says Carla Kematch, Truth and Reconciliation and Community Engagement.

Part of the values of truth and reconciliation is embedding Indigenous ways of knowing and being, and I’m so honoured that Peatr agreed to work with us to create an authentic piece of artwork that staff and students can feel proud to wear that is true to the meaning behind Every Child Matters.

“Peatr is an established artist in our community with a distinct vision — many will recognize his incredible murals throughout the city, and we are so grateful to him for sharing his art and teachings with us. I can’t wait to see this path for us grow and to create more opportunities.”

All proceeds from Orange Shirt Day sales, as well as those from Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two Spirit designs, go towards the Mínwastánikéwin Truth and Reconciliation Award. The word Mínwastánikéwin is Cree and means ‘to set it right.’ This award seeks to advance Indigenous student achievement and since 2019 has distributed $1,000 awards each year via the College’s annual Truth and Reconciliation Week held at the end of September.

Peatr Thomas' new Orange Shirt Day designWhile consulting on the shirt’s design, Thomas met with RRC Polytech Elder-in-Residence Paul Guimond and an Orange Shirt Day committee to share what was important to convey, and to explore what the College seeks to achieve through its strategic direction: supporting Indigenous student success through supports, programs and initiatives like the 4 Seasons of Reconciliation training, the Blanket exercise, Truth and Reconciliation Week, and more.

Thomas says his design represents courage. “Courage to move forward. Courage to speak the truth. Courage to make changes for the better. The youth today will have a better chance at a great future with the protection of the Bear Clan, guidance of our ancestors, and having the room for growth. Remember and pay tribute to the young ones lost. Remember to honour the survivors.”

Read More →

College launches new IT program for Indigenous students as part of RBC Foundation gift

June 20, 2022

Today, Indigenous learners interested in pursuing a career in Manitoba’s information technology (IT) sector will have access to a new program offered at RRC Polytech, thanks to a $450,000 gift from RBC.

This most recent gift — alongside funding for other programs and platforms that connect diverse students to their ideas, potential, and one another — makes for a million-dollar friendship.

“When community partners like RBC connect with RRC Polytech to create globally needed programs, we’re ready to answer the call,” said Fred Meier, President and CEO, RRC Polytech.

“This new pathway program is designed to equip Indigenous Manitobans with the skills and support required to transition into selected programs at RRC Polytech. With the move to remote and hybrid work and heavy reliance on technology, the world of IT operations is growing every day, and RRC Polytech’s students are in high demand.”

RBC has been a longstanding partner of RRC Polytech, and today, both organizations are celebrating over $1M in support. These gifts have provided mentorship and internship opportunities for students through such initiatives as Ten Thousand Coffees and Riipen, and sponsorship for the annual Directions Conference. They have also made possible a series of Reaction by Collision events, the latest of which served as host to today’s announcement about the new Pathway to Information Technology Programs offering.

“We at RBC are delighted to support the new Pathway to Information Technology Programs with this gift,” said Kim Ulmer, RBC’s Regional President. “Representation in industry, access to education, and tapping into the incredible talents of Indigenous people matters to all of us. We are so proud to further deepen our longtime friendship with RRC Polytech, while helping give space to new and innovative ideas in areas of information technology.”      Read More →

RRC Polytech adopts 2SLGBTQIA+ acronym and raises Progress Pride flag

June 15, 2022

RRC Polytech has committed to embed equity, diversity, and inclusion into all work done at the College and is always looking for ways to advance meaningful change.

Moving forward, the College will use the acronym 2SLGTBQIA+ to respectfully acknowledge members of the Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and the countless affirmative ways in which people choose to self-identify community.

The College is placing Two Spirit People at the beginning of this evolving acronym, out of respect for their longevity, and their importance and status in Indigenous beliefs and traditions, after consultation and collaboration with our Elders in Residence and Knowledge Keepers Council.

“I’ve always advocated to recognize Two Spirit first because if we are going to talk about truth and reconciliation within Canada and recognize and acknowledge Indigenous people, including Two Spirit people, we should put them at the beginning. I’ve never understood why we are at the end,” says Barbara Bruce, O.M., All My Relations Inc., and RRC Polytech Knowledge Keepers Council.

“Placing the 2S at the beginning of the acronym is recognizing the original peoples of Canada — First Nation, Métis Nation and Inuit Two Spirit people — and it’s acknowledging who those people are. I think everybody should embrace this stance.” Read More →