Prepare for the future of work with continuing education at RRC Polytech

Part-time and Online Education


Business Analysis and Project Management Showcased at Winnipeg Job Fair

May 30, 2024

Today marks the ninth annual PMI Manitoba and IIBA Winnipeg Job Fair & Networking Event, proudly sponsored by RRC Polytech. This event provides participants with opportunities to network with local Winnipeg business analysis and project management professionals, learn about projects in the field, and chat with RRC Polytech about training opportunities in our community.

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Online boutique owner gets boost from Side Hustle 101 course

January 6, 2022

Skirts that started as pillowcases. Tote bags with neckties for straps. Clutch purses made from placemats. If anyone understands the entrepreneurial spirit of thinking outside the box and using what you have to create something new, it’s Winkler-based maker Heidi Friesen.

A 2015 alum of RRC Polytech’s Apparel Design program, Friesen is the owner and operator of Heidi-and-Seek Boutique, an online store that exclusively features her own garment and accessory designs, which are created — as she puts it — with “real, everyday women in mind.”

“People started to notice my creations and say, ‘You know, you should sell those,’” she explains, when asked about the boutique’s origin.

“That’s kind of how it started, people saw what I was creating for myself and they said, ‘Hey, that would be something that’d be good for a gift,’ or ‘Hey, I’d love to buy that.’ So I started looking into how to start a shop.”

The passion that would lead Friesen (shown above, third from left) to one day launch her own fashion brand first took root when she was still young.

“As a child, I always enjoyed the dress-up box at friend’s houses — we called them play clothes at the time.”

“They were parents’ old clothes or grandma’s old clothes that someone had stuffed in a trunk, and I always loved picking out things to wear. It was just the feeling of putting something on that wasn’t your own — it was a way to tell a new story. I always loved that and I always wanted my clothing to be unique and different from everybody else.”

Those experiences led Friesen to consider garment design as a career path, an idea that really gained traction while she was visiting her sister in college, and the pair decided to create skirts from dorm-room pillowcases.

In 2009, Friesen started an Etsy shop and began selling her creations, but found herself seeking more knowledge to take her sales and skillset to the next level.

“I was self-taught in sewing, and I got to a point in my designing where I felt like I hit a wall in terms of how much I could teach myself,” she says.

“I don’t quite remember how I found it, but RRC Polytech was doing a one-day workshop for sewing details. I went to that thinking I would learn a few things and Jan Bones, who was the instructor, told me that Red River had an Apparel Design program. That was the perfect option for me. It was part-time, I could drive to the city once a week and do my two years to get the certificate.”

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Moving up: Project Management grad recognized for excellence as he takes skills into new role

July 7, 2021

Profile photo of Sibu Thomas

Unlocking new skills has a way of taking someone’s career to the next level. 

For Sibu Thomas, those leaps have come quickly since graduating from Red River College’s Project Management certificate program in 2019.

After getting his certificate, Thomas moved from a Project Coordinator role with Meridian Manufacturing Inc. into his current job as Industrial Regional Sales Manager, covering technical sales for clients in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and North Dakota. 

A Manitoba-based company, Meridian builds storage and handling products for agriculture and industry — and endorsed Thomas’s enrolment in the RRC program back in 2018.

Having travelled a career path that started in chemical engineering technology and oilseed processing, Thomas credits that endorsement and the program itself for helping him take this next step.

“I wanted to enhance my skills, (but) I had no official background in project management training,” says Thomas. “So I signed up at RRC and it led to me implementing new project management tactics for Meridian. That really led me to being promoted to the position I’m in currently.”

The promotion isn’t the only recognition Thomas has earned in the last two years. He was also the 2019 choice for RRC’s joint award with the Project Management Institute (PMI), recognizing outstanding student work. The award is handed out each spring to the top student in the Project Management program and comes with a $1,000 cash prize courtesy of PMI Manitoba and RRC. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019 award was presented in 2021.

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RRC launches micro-credential courses to enhance sought-after industry skills

September 11, 2020

Going back to school to upgrade your skills used to mean months or years of study and hard work — but micro-credential courses allow students, employees and entrepreneurs to “level up” on specific practical skills in just hours, days or weeks.

Red River College has partnered with Learning Resources Network (LERN), one of the world’s leading experts in continuing education and lifelong learning, to offer a series of online micro-credential courses that align with some of the most desired practical skills sought by industry, as well as by those looking to start a side gig.

The College now offers micro-credentials in data analysis, non-profit administration, productivity and time management, presentation media, and podcasting, with more under development.

“We see this as an important part of our future and the type of training we offer industry and people who are already employed, as well as new students,” says Bruce Bishop, Business Development Manager at RRC.

Students can use micro-credentials to enhance or round out a diploma or degree program, improve their marketability, and open up career options.

Micro-credentials benefit employees and organizations, too, by equipping them with flexible training tools to advance in a role or prepare for a new one, or to build workforce capacity.

“Red River College recognizes that many of the challenges and changes brought by COVID-19 are here to stay — not only for post-secondary education, but for all industries across the province. Micro-credentials will help us tackle disruption and adapt in real time,” says Bishop.

Students can pursue a micro-credential in their own time and at their own pace. RRC’s micro-credential courses are fully online, offered year-round, and will never be cancelled. All courses are taught online by experienced industry professionals, and result in a certificate or digital badge students can post to LinkedIn or other social media sites.

“Micro-credential courses are education at the leading edge,” says Bishop. “They help students, employees and employers tailor their skills and knowledge quickly to career goals, business opportunities, operational needs, and technological disruption.”

Find out more at

College to host ABCs of E-Commerce workshop and webinars

September 11, 2020

Red River College is launching a new e-commerce webinar series aimed at helping brick-and-mortar decision-makers in Manitoba make the leap to online sales.

The ABCs of E-Commerce webinar series kicks off with a free online workshop on Tue., Sept. 15 and Wed., Sept. 30, from 6:30–8:30 p.m.

The workshop introduces key elements such as setting up a website, design do’s and don’ts, content creation and marketing, inventory management, online security, transactions, and more.

RRC Program Manager Angela Chotka says the ABCs of E-Commerce webinars are a tool designed to help small businesses recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19.

“When COVID first struck, huge numbers of consumers stopped shopping in stores and started shopping online. Even after public health restrictions began to ease up, that trend hasn’t fully reversed. If you couldn’t sell your product online, you were left high and dry — which is why so many brick and mortar businesses are struggling right now. We can help. Learning the fundamentals of e-commerce can prepare a business to pivot quickly, expand revenues and remain competitive.”

The ABCs of E-Commerce webinars are also useful for entrepreneurs looking to start their own online venture. Future webinars will be offered at affordable prices and willcover the following topics in depth:

  • Understanding Your Customers’ Needs
  • Building Your E-Commerce Framework
  • Managing Inventory, Delivery and Service
  • Accepting Online Payments and Taxes
  • Launching and Growing Your Online Store

RRC is also developing a free guide, 6 Actionable Steps to Selling Online.

Find out more and register at

Insurance brokered: Project Management grad recognized for engagement, leadership

September 6, 2019

Changing careers can be daunting and difficult, but Matt Betker definitely made the right decision.

A long-time software developer, Betker saw his consultant position at Manitoba Public Insurance slowly turning into a leadership role. He decided to go with the flow and in 2018 he graduated from Red River College’s Project Management certificate program.

A few months later, Betker earned Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute.

Now, he’s working as a project manager at MPI and is currently enrolled in RRC’s Project Leadership program.

“I switched from a consultant to an employee and changed job roles and careers at the same time. It worked out well for me,” says Betker, 39.

Did it ever. In April, Betker was named the winner of the top student award at PMI Manitoba’s annual spring conference. The honour comes with a $1,000 cash prize courtesy of PMI Manitoba and RRC. Read More →

Residential Decorating students unveil Co-Create Spaces at IKEA

May 21, 2019

Walking through an IKEA can’t simply be described as shopping for something — it’s more like navigating through a maze of thoughtfully designed rooms.

The in-store displays are an iconic part of the IKEA experience and are different in every location, based on localized market research. They’re designed to address the needs of a specific person, place and price-point.

Customers see a room, but Josephine Pulver — an interior designer and Residential Decorating instructor at Red River College — saw a chance to connect with the industry and turn IKEA’s design process into a final project for her students.

“Last year I placed two of my students at IKEA for their practicums and got to meet some of their staff, and saw the opportunity to set up a project with them,” says Pulver. “The mission is to get students involved, and show the industry what our students are doing at RRC.”

Five displays designed and built by Pulver’s students are now on display at IKEA’s Winnipeg location. The five rooms — called Co-Create Spaces — were unveiled over the weekend, and will remain in-store for the next three years.

Through the Co-Create project, students were able to work off-campus and immerse themselves in the process from start to finish. IKEA provided the research, room dimensions, budget and list of products, then the students broke into groups and began sketching solutions for better everyday living.

“We start from inspiration and develop a concept, which we present to our client, then we get our client’s feedback and get them involved in the progress of the plan development,” says Pulver. “We then carry that through to the completion of the project.” Read More →

Therapeutic Recreation grad connects with older adults in bilingual role at Actionmarguerite

April 30, 2019

Jean-Pierre Kisima, ActionmargueriteBased on the way Jean-Pierre Kisama talks about his job, you can tell it’s his calling.

A recent Red River College graduate, Kisama takes great pride in his work at Actionmarguerite, a home for francophone seniors who require personal and long-term care services.

He’s a therapeutic recreation specialist, so it’s part of his role to engage the residents, and encourage them to take part in the therapeutic programming he creates and plans.

“Some of the residents have dementia, physical disabilities or can’t hear or see very well — they need love and someone beside them who will treat them with dignity and make them feel like they can still do things,” says Kisama.

“My floor has 40 residents, and they all know my name. They are happy, and because of that I am very happy.”

Kisama has always enjoyed working with seniors, which is one of the reasons he decided to enroll in Red River College’s Thereapeutic Recreation Facilitator for Older Adults program.

He and his family came to Winnipeg from the Congo as refugees in 2013. Back home, he served in a similar role as a community support worker.

“The teaching methods were wonderful, and the College itself is well organized,” he says of his experience at RRC. “They made things simple, in the sense that if you are serious about what you want to do, and you work hard, you will succeed in the program.”

Another reason Kisama wanted to take the program was because of the flexible schedule afforded by the continuing education option.

“It worked around my timetable with my four kids and with my wife, so my family wasn’t even affected,” he says. “It made it easier for me to finish and to study hard.” Read More →

Ready for anything: Admin. Assistant training leads to career path in human resources

January 30, 2019

Red River College delivers job-ready graduates to employers, and Ronda Henley was as job-ready as it gets.

In 1987, while still enrolled in RRC’s Administrative Assistant program, Henley was offered a job with the Health Sciences Centre.

“It was in the department of communication disorders, working with speech pathologists and audiologists,” says Henley, who had previously completed RRC’s Secretarial Machine Transcription course in 1986.

“After completing an interview and passing their medical vocabulary and typing tests, they offered me the job, but I thought to myself, ‘Wait, I still have to do my final exams. I haven’t finished school.’”

And while Henley did complete the Administrative Assistant program, she still wasn’t finished furthering her education at RRC.

In 1997, she returned to the College to take the Human Resource Management program, having at the time been recently hired by United Grain Growers in an administrative assistant position in HR.

That put Henley on her current career path: HR in the agricultural sector. She’s held HR positions at UGG, Agricore United, Viterra, and for the last 10 years, Cargill.

Presently, Henley is Cargill’s employee experience/employee relations senior specialist for Manitoba.

“The role covers everything from onsite training to employee engagement to performance management — different realms that support employees and managers,” she explains. Read More →

RRC Polytech campuses are located on the lands of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininew, Dakota, and Dené, and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis.

We recognize and honour Treaty 3 Territory Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, the source of Winnipeg’s clean drinking water. In addition, we acknowledge Treaty Territories which provide us with access to electricity we use in both our personal and professional lives.

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