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College partners with province on solutions to COVID-related workforce challenges in education

January 8, 2021

The Manitoba government is taking action to bolster substitute teachers and educational assistants to sustain classroom education and supports through the 2020/21 school year, Education Minister Cliff Cullen announced today.

“As the pandemic continues and in-class learning continues we recognize the demand that this is placing on Manitoba’s classrooms,” said Cullen. “Manitoba Education, along with the Manitoba School Boards Association and school divisions, identified the need to address staffing shortages and reached out to Red River College to explore innovative ways to support in-class learning through the 2020/21 school year.”

The government will support two condensed training programs, created by the College in collaboration with the Manitoba Association of School Superintendents in response to the staffing needs identified by school divisions across the province. These programs are designed to provide consistent and quality training to the individuals hired by school divisions to address COVID-19 staffing challenges in Manitoba’s classrooms.

The Basic Classroom Skills for Limited Teaching Permit Holders program will provide short-term, basic training to prepare individuals hired on a temporary basis to successfully teach in a classroom environment. The Educational Assistant Essentials program will provide short-term, entry level training to new EAs who would then work under the direction of teaching staff.

“Our College community continues to draw on our unique experience and expertise — both with content development and highly skilled instruction in these areas — to create customized solutions to meet the urgent human resource challenges this pandemic presents across various sectors and industries,” said RRC President Fred Meier. “We will continue to leverage our skills and expertise to support critical and essential industries across Manitoba, and we are proud to work with our partners in the K-12 system to create solutions to address educational continuity and the pressing staffing needs identified by the Task Force as we navigate the home stretch of this unprecedented school year.”

Both programs draw on existing training provided by the College and will be offered online, both full-time and part time, in French and English, and will be accessible to individuals across Manitoba. Each program will be approximately 30 hours in duration.

School divisions will continue to hire interested, qualified individuals through their standard processes, and will refer candidates to Red River College for training. Intakes will begin January 18, 2021. School division job postings are available on the Manitoba School Boards Association’s website.

“We understand a key part of maintaining in-class learning during the COVID-19 pandemic requires that members of the school community remain home when sick,” said Cullen. “These programs are part of a $44-million commitment to assist, alongside hiring more teachers and staff and ensuring a safe and healthy learning environment for all students, teachers and staff.”

RRC delivers new micro-credential courses to SkipTheDishes

January 6, 2021

SkipTheDishes logoRed River College has partnered with SkipTheDishes to serve up a menu of micro-credential courses designed to help the largest food delivery network in Canada train a rapidly growing workforce.

Faced with an urgent need to develop a strong cohort of qualified training staff, SkipTheDishes approached RRC earlier this year to draw on the College’s proven strengths in designing and implementing short micro-credential courses that “level up” specific skills and competencies.

This new series of micro-credentials will “train the trainers” by qualifying them with a uniform set of accredited skills they need to train their operations teams. The micro-credentials will enhance the skills of SkipTheDishes’ current training facilitators, many of whom rose to the role from customer service positions, and will form a baseline for new hires. The first round of courses are already underway.

“This partnership highlights RRC’s innovation and flexibility when it comes to building our province’s workforce capacity in a rapidly changing environment,” says RRC President Fred Meier. “We’re pleased to support a made-in-Manitoba success story like SkipTheDishes. Our strong connections with industry partners make it possible for us to quickly develop tailor-made solutions to the challenges they’re facing, and ensure people have the opportunity to gain the right skills, at the right time, in the right way.”

“We’re excited to partner with RRC to ensure our trainers are set up for success,” says Eddie Garcia, Vice-President, Global Care and Logistics, SkipTheDishes. “With a rapidly growing workforce right here in Winnipeg, the micro-credential courses have come at a perfect time.”

Once each SkipTheDishes trainer completes the micro-credentials, they receive a digital badge embedded with information about the skills and competencies they’ve acquired. The badge can be added to resumes, email signatures and social media. 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 →

RRC partners with province to build rapid-testing capacity to protect Manitobans

December 16, 2020

Red River College has partnered with the provincial government to launch a new micro-credential that will build a skilled workforce to support Manitoba’s rapid-test strategy for COVID-19, Premier Brian Pallister and RRC President Fred Meier announced today.

“Our government’s number one priority in the face of this pandemic is to protect Manitobans and halt the spread of this deadly virus,” says Pallister. “With the launch of this new micro-credential, Manitoba will be well positioned to support the creation of targeted rapid testing initiatives to protect our front-line workers and the Manitobans they care for.”

The premier noted the province will launch a dedicated COVID-19 rapid testing service pilot for teachers in Winnipeg in the new year, which will help support the health and wellness of Manitoba’s school communities.

Students of the new RRC course will learn how to use best practices in testing performance for COVID-19 and the technical skills needed to support the launch of a Fast Pass rapid testing pilot for teachers in the new year. Participants of the free micro-credential can expect six hours of theory and a five-hour lab component, totalling 11 hours of instruction, conducted over five days.

“Our government is committed to partnering with industry leaders like Red River College to create made-in-Manitoba solutions that will help save lives,” says Pallister. “While vaccinations are beginning in Manitoba for targeted groups, we must continue to stick to the fundamentals and stay home to support our health-care and front-line workers at this crucial time in our fight against COVID-19.”

The first cohort of the RRC course is expected to start in early January, and will focus on skills needed to use the Songbird Hyris bCUBE and other rapid tests. The program is being offered free to eligible applicants with a foundation in science and/or working in a laboratory setting, including:

  • medical laboratory assistants or technicians with laboratory-related work experience
  • graduates of a science or chemical and biosciences technology program
  • graduates of a pharmaceutical manufacturing program
  • graduates with a bachelor of science degree with a major or minor in biology, biochemistry, biomedical sciences, chemistry, microbiology or zoology Read More →

Robots, rapid prototyping and R&D: College’s applied research enterprise ranks among Canada’s best

December 15, 2020

Red River College is one of Canada’s top five research institutions, as announced today by Re$earch Infosource in their annual ranking of the country’s top 50 research colleges.

The list saw RRC, Manitoba’s only polytechnic, jump nine spots from its placement at 14th last year. This is the highest the College has placed since coming in second in 2011.

“Red River College is a world-class institution that makes significant impacts to applied research every day, thanks to industry-driven partnerships and projects,” says RRC President Fred Meier. “Our research enterprise has been making a difference for more than 15 years, and this recognition is a testament to the contributions of our hard-working staff, students and faculty.”

Today’s announcement recognizes RRC’s work during the 2018/19 fiscal year, during which the College completed 105 research projects and employed 37 students for work that falls within the College’s four main research areas: advanced design and manufacturing, clean technology, digital technologies, and health, nutrition and social sciences.

Key projects include an ongoing partnership with Prairie Fava, a start-up business based out of Glenboro, Manitoba that promotes fava flour as a protein-rich gluten alternative; supporting Manitoba’s aerospace and manufacturing sector with an expanding fleet of “cobots” or collaborative robots; and helping to launch the “Genome 360” project with Genome Canada and a network of partners, with the goal of building a hub for genomics and phenomics capabilities in Manitoba.

The news comes on the heels of RRC’s recent silver win at the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) Awards of Excellence, held in a virtual ceremony on Nov. 29.

“Our work in applied research has an immediate impact and is needed now more than ever,” says Meier. “Being recognized on a national and international level not only reinforces our continued success, but recognizes the immense talent and expertise that we have at the College. Our ongoing collaboration with business and industry means that we’re solving problems and creating new and innovative solutions every day, and I invite industry to come work with us to experience first-hand what we have to offer. Read More →

RRC grads, staff members offer shop-local options for the holiday season

December 11, 2020

‘Tis the season to shop local, and this year, Red River College is proud to share a number of ways the community can support our diverse network of alumni creators, entrepreneurs and innovators.

“Red River College’s alumni community has been creative and resilient throughout this pandemic,” says Katrina Sklepowich, RRC’s Alumni Engagement Officer.

“Alumni business owners continue to raise the bar with ingenious solutions to our new living and working conditions. There are many COVID heroes in our community and we want to thank them for all that they do to keep us safe and healthy, and to keep our economy going. One of the best ways we can show our support for the important work they do is to shop local this holiday season.”

With the current provincial Code Red restrictions, many of our favourite local businesses have had to close up shop and move online where possible, and many holiday market opportunities have been cancelled. These businesses have had to adapt to a new way of doing business and identify creative and innovative solutions to sell their products and services in a safe way.

For the last two years, the Sustainability team and Alumni Engagement have hosted a day-long, Made by RRC Winter Market, where talented alumni, staff and student makers sell their wares and promote their business to the College community.

The event is always well-attended by both makers and shoppers looking for the perfect gift for the special people in their lives.

This year, since we can’t gather physically for the event, the College has compiled a list of alumni and makers who participate in the Winter Market each year, so we can continue to support these businesses this holiday season.

“As a College, we  host several farmers’ and makers markets throughout the year to give staff and students opportunities to participate in low- to no-waste shopping options, as these vendors typically use less packaging on their products and with less travel, they carry a lower carbon footprint,” says Sara MacArthur, Director of Campus Planning and Sustainability at RRC.

“While the pandemic has been challenging in a number of ways, it has also provided a valuable learning opportunity for us to think more critically about the purchases we make and the impact they have on the environment and the economy. We are proud once again to support our talented local artisans and alumni and encourage the College community to shop local this holiday season.”

Made by RRC Alumni and Artisans:

Are you an RRC alumni member and business owner? If you’d like to connect with us about future opportunities for collaboration, email alumni@rrc.ca.

College and province launch new micro-credential course for COVID-19 immunizers

December 10, 2020

As part of its plan to protect Manitobans against COVID-19, the province has partnered with Red River College to ensure people who will administer the COVID-19 vaccine have the opportunity to upgrade or extend their skills with a new micro-credential, Premier Brian Pallister and RRC President Fred Meier announced today.

“This micro-credential will help us rapidly activate the people we need — including retired health care workers, students and others with a critical baseline of knowledge and skills — as an integral part of our vaccine campaign,” says Pallister.

“We must be ready to ramp up our response as more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine arrive, so we can protect our neighbours and loved ones as quickly as possible. Manitoba’s health-care workers are already an integral part of the COVID-19 response and we are looking for more people to step forward and join Team Manitoba. This new micro-credential will help ensure those hired to administer the vaccine can upgrade their skills if they need it, so they can be ready to vaccinate safely and quickly.”

“Our college community has stepped-up in the fight against COVID-19,” says Meier. “They’ve met the challenges this pandemic has given us head on, worked around the clock, and found new and innovative ways to adapt and deliver our programs, while creating immediate, urgent, short bursts of training to keep Manitobans safe.

“That work won’t stop, and we will continue to leverage our skill and expertise to support our health-care providers — many of whom are RRC grads — who are on the front lines of this pandemic every day.”

Yesterday, the province issued an order under the Regulated Health Professions Act (vaccination administration) to expand the types of regulated professions that can administer the COVID-19 vaccine in Manitoba. The new micro-credential will help ensure they can properly administer the COVID-19 vaccine and help immunize Manitobans.

The eight-hour course, offered at no cost, includes an online portion as well as an in-person lab. Course participants will learn about the virus, become familiar with safe COVID-19 vaccine procedures, learn about immunization and related anatomy, and understand best practices when vaccinating clients. Read More →

Province launches new training and recruitment initiatives to support disability services sector

November 30, 2020

The Manitoba government is introducing new training and recruitment initiatives to help ensure agencies that serve individuals with disabilities have adequate staff, while also creating employment opportunities for job-seekers, Families Minister Heather Stefanson announced today.

This work is part of the government’s broader plans to help  protect vulnerable Manitobans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic has put a serious strain on agencies that provide services and supports to Manitobans with disabilities, so we are introducing new initiatives to help bridge that gap on an urgent basis,” says Stefanson. “Today we are highlighting our plans to better protect Manitobans with disabilities by launching an online employment platform that will match eligible service providers with available positions. This will be supported by a recruitment campaign, as well as a new online training program that will help prepare workers for rewarding positions throughout Manitoba in disability services.”

There are more than 70 community-based agencies in Manitoba that provide residential care to adults with intellectual disabilities. They are experiencing significant staffing challenges related to COVID-19 and require immediate support to ensure they can continue to provide compassionate care to their clients.

The province is partnering with Manitoba Possible (formerly the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities) and their online platform, called envoyy, to connect agencies with job-seekers who have appropriate training and skills. The Manitoba government is providing $68,000 to strengthen envoyy with better technical support, customer service and related demands over the next six months. The province will also be expediting adult and child abuse registry checks for applicants to ensure they can be safely employed. Read More →

RRC grads working on frontlines critical to pandemic response

November 26, 2020

Polytechnic graduates have been critical to Canada’s pandemic response. Two Red River College grads are proving just that in Polytechnics Canada’s Faces of the Frontline video series.

Red River College is Manitoba’s only polytechnic, offering hands-on and applied learning to prepare students for the industries that await them outside campus doors. Faces of the Frontline features two RRC grads working in non-traditional frontline industries: Allison Enns (Architectural/Engineering Technology, 2017 and Construction Management, 2019) and Chad Corbett (Hospitality and Tourism Management, 2014).

“We’re always proud of our grads, but especially now as we see so many of them rising to the challenges the pandemic brings,” says RRC President Fred Meier. “Construction and hospitality may not be the first industries that come to mind when you think of the frontline, but our grads are here to show you how crucial they are to our safety and economy.”

Enns is a site coordinator at Akman Construction and Corbett is the co-owner and vice-president, operations at Block & Blade Restaurant and Bar. As frontline workers, both Enns and Corbett had to respond quickly at the onset of COVID-19 and have continued to adjust the ways in which they work to stay operational, while keeping Manitobans safe.

RRC grad Allison EnnsIn their video features, Enns and Corbett are quick to describe how their education at RRC prepared them to step up when Manitobans needed them most. Watch Enns’ feature here, and Corbett’s feature here.

“When the pandemic began, our member institutions and their graduates really stepped up,” says Sarah Watts-Rynard, CEO at Polytechnics Canada. “It was clear from the beginning that a large majority of Canada’s essential workers came from institutions offering applied, hands-on programs.

“Polytechnic institutions like Red River College don’t simply prepare grads for real-world working environments, they embed tangible skills and confidence in their students, preparing them to make a real and immediate impact. Faces of the Frontline highlights the important work our institutions and their graduates are doing during the pandemic, and we’re proud to include Red River College grads in this campaign.”

Red River College thanks all front-line workers for their vital efforts during the pandemic. RRC continues to educate and train the next generation of professionals who will keep our people safe and our economies strong.