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New Healthy Minds Healthy College Strategy released; learn more at online forum on April 9

March 31, 2021

Red River College is pleased to share that its new Healthy Minds Healthy (HMHC) College Strategy: A Roadmap for Action 2021-2025 has been approved and endorsed by Senior Leadership and the HMHC Steering Committee — who serve as a catalyst for moving this important work forward — and will carry the College forward for the next five years.

Many staff and students across the College have had opportunities to participate in wellness events and initiatives organized by HMHC — from therapy dogs to paint nights to presentations by guest speakers such as Jordin Tootoo (shown above). If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that supporting healthy minds and creating a healthy College community is so much more than the fun and visible events we enjoy on campus.

“The goal of Healthy Minds Healthy College is to promote an environment of support that provides a sense of well-being, belonging, connectedness and positive mental health for all students, faculty and staff,” says RRC President Fred Meier.

“We know that personal well-being supports academic and career success, and our personal well-being is often affected by the conditions in which we learn and work. Our HMHC Strategy: Roadmap for Action recognizes the strengths that are currently in place at RRC, while providing a path forward to guide the work that remains.”

While this work was underway prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, recent events have created new and different stressors, bringing mental health to the forefront of many people’s minds. Further, there is a risk of an “echo pandemic” of poor mental health, caused by widespread social and economic disruption.

The HMHC Strategy acknowledges the need to take a community-wide, systemic approach to promoting well-being. We have built in strategies to promote mental health and well-being amongst all community members, identified additional strategies to support those with concerns about coping, and outlined priorities to support individuals experiencing mental illness or crisis.

“Our HMHC Strategy focuses not only on building individual coping skills and encouraging help-seeking behaviour, but takes a systemic approach, aiming to create interpersonal and organizational conditions that foster positive mental health,” says Breanna Sawatzky, Mental Health Coordinator at RRC.

“The current strengths and future priorities highlighted in the Roadmap for Action do not belong to one College department or division, as we recognize that becoming a health-promoting institution requires organization-wide collaboration. Students, staff and faculty members all contributed to the creation of this Roadmap, including the selection of priorities.”

To learn more about the HMHC Strategy: Roadmap for Action and RRC’s immediate priorities, please join Sawatzky for: State of Mind: A Community Exchange on Friday, April 9, from 1–2 p.m. This interactive forum will include a short presentation highlighting key aspects of the strategy, followed by discussion.

College announces new programs and spaces to attract, grow and retain talent in Manitoba

March 24, 2021

Red River College is calling all videographers ready to roll camera on a career in digital film and media production, all developers and analysts looking to crack new codes in data science and machine learning, and all gamers ready to “level up” by turning their online passion into a job in game development and design — just a few of the new programs slated to launch this fall, many of them at the state-of-the-art Innovation Centre downtown.

The roster of new programs includes:

“Red River College’s programs are uniquely designed in collaboration with employers to ensure our learners are prepared to be adaptive and creative — and to become leaders in their industries — at a time when these critical skills are more important than ever,” says RRC President Fred Meier. “The launch of new programs is about anticipating the needs of our workforce and designing programs that align with the labour market needs, so that we can continue to grow and retain talent right here in Manitoba.”

With the opening of the Innovation Centre and expansion of its Exchange District Campus, RRC is poised to introduce the most new programs ever launched at once.

All of the programs will expand the College’s capacity for putting students and industry partners to work on real-world projects geared towards solving problems — and creating opportunities — in important, emerging sectors of our economy.

“Innovation will be critical to our city’s future growth and business leaders have consistently told us they need access to a strong pipeline of talent to grow their companies,” says Dayna Spiring, President and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg.

“RRC is developing the right kind of programs, innovative spaces and training that companies want and need. This is very important when we’re trying to sell Winnipeg to the world and attract new business and talent to our city. It also provides an incentive for local companies to expand, because they know they will have access to highly skilled workers when they need them.”

Once opened, the Innovation Centre will also house a number of RRC’s signature programs in such areas as Indigenous education, applied commerce and management, and creative arts, and will be the new home of its Language Training Centre and Applied Computer Education (ACE) Project Space.

“Red River College continues to be a key pillar in developing talent for Manitoba’s interactive digital media industry. We are thrilled that they are putting a strong emphasis on video game development with their newly designed programs, and it’s even more exciting that they will be delivered from this new state-of-the-art space,” says Louie Ghiz, Executive Director at New Media Manitoba.

“Our local game development sector is constantly evolving and has the potential for explosive growth with the addition of these new programs that will help train even more people. Together we can grow and thrive in alignment with the booming global video game development industry.” Read More →

Manitoba Metis Federation increases support for Métis students at RRC

March 10, 2021

Red River College has been able to support more Métis students in need, thanks to an additional donation by the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) and the Louis Riel Institute (LRI).

The Louis Riel Bursaries are available to any full- or part-time RRC students requiring financial assistance who hold citizenship (or are eligible for citizenship) with the Métis Nation. Since 2014, the bursaries have helped 174 Métis students achieve academic success.

The MMF’s donation has been matched by the Manitoba Scholarship and Bursary Initiative (MSBI), making more than $400,000 available and enabling the College to support more than 80 students who have applied for this year’s bursary

“This generous donation comes at a pivotal time for many students,” says RRC President Fred Meier. “The immediate assistance makes a direct impact on the lives of students who are working hard towards completing their education, but may be struggling due to COVID-19 or other factors. A bursary can be a critical support and the motivation a student needs to keep going and focus on training for their future career.”

Meara Grant, a fourth-year student in RRC’s Bachelor of Nursing program, received the bursary this year and said it was a huge relief.

“I have been struggling to pay my bills and manage good grades throughout school, especially with times like these,” she says. “This support has taken a tremendous amount of stress off of my shoulders. It has allowed me to focus more time on my clinical placement, and pursue my dreams as a nurse.”

Grant will be completing her senior practicum in the Selkirk Regional Health Centre’s emergency department next month. After graduation, she plans to work as a nurse for a few years before returning to school to obtain her Masters of Nursing and become a Nurse Practitioner.

“Education is so important for our Nation’s growth and prosperity,” says MMF President David Chartrand. “The Métis government in Manitoba has worked hard to get to a place where we can provide our youth with the necessary funding for their education, so they have the chance to find meaningful work and achieve greater financial security.”

Since establishing the bursaries, the MMF and LRI have provided $800,000 to Métis students at RRC as part of the mission to advance education and training for Metis people in Manitoba, and to foster an understanding and appreciation of the culture, heritage and history of the province and its Métis people. Read More →

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 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.”

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 →

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.

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 →