Over the last year, Red River College has opened four new Language Training Centres (LTCs) throughout Manitoba, providing access to critical language skills programming for an additional 250 students.
The College’s LTC in Winnipeg, which already trains more than 1,000 newcomers every year, has recently expanded programming to Arborg, Steinbach, Thompson and Selkirk. The five-month programs are provided at no charge to students, with costs covered by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
The LTC s offer English Language Learning programs as well as English for Specific Purposes programs. The former focuses on competency-based programs for students developing language proficiency for further education, employment, or settlement and daily life, while the latter focuses on learning English in a way that will further training opportunities, or employment in a specific job market.
“We are proud that more than 60 per cent of our English as a Second Language and English for a Specific Purpose programs are linked to employment outcomes,” says Kerri Caldwell Korabelnikov, director of the Language Training Centre at RRC.
“What that means is that we’re helping our students achieve their goals and connecting them either directly with employers, or with the resources necessary to find work in their chosen careers. I know this success will continue with the expansion. The areas we have expanded in have shown they are in need of language training services for newcomers, and we’re happy to fill that need and help strengthen those communities.” Read More →
A centre that provides life skills, positive role models and a safe, fun environment for kids in Winnipeg’s West Broadway community will receive new supplies and funds, thanks to students in Red River College’s Creative Communications program.
Through CreComm’s Radio course, students are hosting a 12-hour radiothon, To West Broadway and Beyond, today from 7a.m. to 7p.m., on the College’s online station, The District. The endeavour supports West Broadway Youth Outreach (WBYO), a drop-in recreational and life skills program that provides free after-school and summer activities, year-round.
“Having the ability to help local charities, while putting our students’ skills to use, is what Red River College is all about,” says RRC Radio instructor Dan Vadeboncoeur.
“We are happy to support such an amazing organization like West Broadway Youth Outreach, which helps youth in Winnipeg learn important skills like leadership, accountability and confidence.”
Throughout the day, CreComm students will be collecting donations in the atrium of The Roblin Centre at 160 Princess St. Among the items they're hoping to receive: youth bus tickets (sheets), school supplies, old video games, books, board games, toys, juice boxes, tickets to concerts or events, and for people to sign up to become WBYO volunteers.
To listen to the radiothon, visit radio.rrc.ca — or follow along with the students on Twitter at @RRCdistrict.
It’s being billed as the “TurboTax for law,” and Red River College students are helping to bring it to the web.
Students from the College’s Business Administration program and Applied Computer Education (ACE) department have partnered with Winnipeg’s Evans Family Law Corporation, to develop an interview-based web application that allows users to access and fill out basic family law documents themselves.
In the works since last year, the app is slated to be built and brought online by RRC students sometime in 2018.
“Access to justice, particularly in family law, has been recognized as a serious issue with the legal community for some time,” says Business instructor George Allen. “It is believed the kind of technology this project is looking to implement could play an important role in addressing some of the access issues inherent in the current system.”
Allen says the project would be designed to provide Manitobans with access to court forms using intelligent documents, and to use an interview-style dialogue process for gathering client data — much like TurboTax does to complete federal and provincial tax forms.
The prospect of saving thousands of dollars in legal fees could be particularly attractive to the large number of working Canadians for whom the ability to retain a lawyer is out of reach due to costs.
“If you’re working and you’re making a certain level of income, and you have a divorce proceeding or a wills and estate issue, you won’t qualify for Legal Aid because you make too much money or you own property,” says Allen (shown above, fourth from right). “You may also be in a situation where paying $300 an hour for a lawyer is really a hardship, or even out of the question.”
“An uncontested divorce or separation is really a straightforward process that most paralegals would normally be doing under the guidance and underwriting of a lawyer. So we’re looking at taking those forms and that process and providing it at a low cost to this particular population that otherwise likely wouldn’t have access to it.”
Greg Evans, principal at Evans Family Law, says the idea is to provide some of the same services already offered at Winnipeg’s Legal Help Centre, only for an online audience.
“People are much more used to having services provided online or through online websites and applications,” says Evans (shown above, second from right). “It’s an idea that takes a look at what potentially might be the wave of the future, particularly with simple legal documents.” Read More →
Today, students in Red River College’s Pathway Program to Construction Skills provided a helping — and skilled — set of hands during a Habitat for Humanity build that doubled as their introduction to practical training.
The students are refugee newcomers to Manitoba who enrolled in the program to enhance their English skills and gain practical experience, with an eye on securing full-time employment in the construction sector once they’ve completed their training.
Many participants took up residence in Manitoba after being forced to flee their homes in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Sudan. Though some had to leave almost everything behind, they brought with them their experience in construction and the skilled trades. Now they’re hoping to put those skills to good use as they begin their new lives in Canada.
“Most of us can’t even begin to imagine moving across the world to a new place where we speak a different language, and not being able to pursue employment in a career or industry we’ve spent our lives working towards,” says Stuart Schwartz, Program Manager at RRC’s Language Training Centre. “But this is a reality for many.”
“Other students may not have previous experience, but [they] have the desire to learn. This program aims to bridge the gap and remove the language barrier by providing students with the essential language training, technical skills and experience they need to gain employment working in Manitoba’s construction sector.” Read More →
One potato, two potato, three potato, four — that and a few hundred pounds more were dug up from Red River College’s community garden today and donated to Winnipeg Harvest in support of the corporate Grow-A-Row challenge.
Staff and students at the College have spent all summer tending to the spuds (and carrots and onions), which will now go to feed families in need.
“Once again, Red River College is proud to support Winnipeg Harvest, and this year we are pleased to donate nearly 3,000 pounds of vegetables from our garden to Winnipeg families,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.
“I want to thank the staff and students who volunteer their time to tend to the garden, and our grounds and Sustainability teams who champion this community initiative within the College. I’d also like to congratulate the Winnipeg Airports Authority and the corporate partners [including Pegasus Publications] who have taken part in this important project to ensure that no one in our community goes hungry.”
Dating back several years, RRC’s involvement with Grow-A-Row is currently championed by Gord McLeod, pavement and grounds supervisor, and Sara MacArthur, director of Sustainability. The College’s garden — a 30’ x 60’ plot of land — has become a community initiative encouraging involvement from both staff and students, who tend and harvest it on a volunteer basis.
The food grown in the garden supports not only the greater community, but also the College’s food bank, organized by the RRC Students’ Association.
The Grow-A-Row initiative, meanwhile, first blossomed back in 1986, when Winnipeg residents Ron and Eunice O’Donovan produced more potatoes in their backyard garden than they could consume. Their donations were so well received by Winnipeg Harvest that the couple encouraged friends and neighbours to also donate surplus produce.
Since then, Grow-A-Row has yielded more than 3.7 million of pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Red River College’s Stevenson Campus was again the proud facility sponsor for the 14th United Way Winnipeg Plane Pull — providing the hangar and volunteers for the annual fundraiser, which doubled as the launch of this year’s United Way Annual Giving Campaign.
Nearly 2,000 people joined together Friday to pull 80,000 pounds of plane, while raising money to provide essential supports directly to kids and families in Winnipeg. But the heavy lifting for this event begins long before the first teams get their hands on the rope.
“In order for an event of this magnitude to take off smoothly, it’s all hands on deck,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “As the facility sponsors, our instructors and staff at the Stevenson Campus are involved in the planning nearly a year in advance — from scheduling classes and program training around the event date, to providing volunteers and working around the clock the day before to clear the hangar and have it set up and ready for participants.”
The 55,000-square foot training facility is home to RRC’s aviation and aerospace programs – making it the ideal location for the Plane Pull each year.
“We’re excited to be back on Stevenson Aviation’s tarmac, which is generously provided by Red River College, pulling together for a better Winnipeg,” says Colin Ryan, Senior Vice-President and Managing Director at BMO Nesbitt Burns, and United Way Winnipeg’s 2017 Campaign Chair.
“More and more, Winnipeggers are reaching out with kindness every single day, sharing our pride and shaping a Winnipeg we can all be proud to call home.” Read More →
Want to know what’s going on around campus? Need a tool to help promote your event to the College community? Starting this fall, there’s an app for that!
Red River College has launched a mobile-friendly, device agnostic web app called RRC Life, with features unlike those of other college and university apps. Instead of focusing on schedules, grades, links to class sites and other commonly used tools (all of which are available to students through the rrc.ca login), RRC Life is designed to help members of the RRC community — including students, staff and alumni — better engage with College life.
Much of the RRC Life app was conceptualized and developed by our very own students. The College’s Marketing and Web Presence team started the initiative by partnering with Business Information Technology (BIT) students on a curriculum-based project to design and develop a fully functioning web app for the College community.
“We’re very proud of the relationship our faculty and students have developed with our colleagues in Marketing and Web Presence,” says Haider Al-Saidi, Chair, Applied Computer Education (ACE). “Students gain most when they work on real-world problems and solutions, and it’s extra special to be able to do that for your school and fellow students.”
The app — which has a mobile-first design but works on all devices — can be used to access an RRC social media aggregator, an interactive campus maps utility, and a campus-specific user-generated events stream. Staying true to RRC’s brand, the app also allows user to access a real-time stream of job postings for students and grads.
“The goal of the app is simply to increase the quality of life at RRC by informing and engaging our audiences on whatever connected device they happen to have at their fingertips,” says Christian Robin, RRC’s Director of Marketing and Web Presence. “The version that’s out now was completed with help from one of our alumni, Paul Everton (BIT, 2007). The app has an API that will allow us to continue to work with students to test and build out additional functionality, and eventually launch native apps for iOS and Android devices.”
Use the free app today at rrclife.ca.
For the third year in a row, members of RRC’s Student Refugee Program (SRP) Local Committee were on hand to welcome their latest sponsored arrival — former Syrian resident Tariq Ajam — as he touched down in Winnipeg.
Ajam is the third student to arrive in Canada under a sponsorship with the SRP, an initiative of World University Service of Canada (WUSC).
He studied engineering in Syria until 2012, when continued instability in the region prompted him to move to Jordan. There, he completed his course credit hours and started work on his thesis, before applying for an SRP sponsorship so he could enrol in RRC’s Applied Accounting program.
“As an engineer, I always think something related to business might help me to find a good opportunity in life, such as administration or management,” says Ajam, who’ll stay at RRC’s student residence while attending classes downtown. “I really do not want to lose another chance in my life to achieve what I am dreaming of.”
Ajam was greeted at the airport yesterday by a lively delegation from RRC, including Yves Ngendahimna and Wasim Alkabani (shown above, with Ajam in centre), the first and second students to be sponsored under the SRP.
All three students made their way to Canada with help from not only committee members and the larger WUSC network, but also donors such as Albert El Tassi, Scotiabank, and the RRC Students’ Association, whose support and financial contributions make the program possible.
Recently, Scotiabank made a five-year, $100,000 pledge to support the program at RRC, and also established three individual awards worth $1,000 each to support domestic students pursuing careers in the financial services industry.
To join the SRP Local Committee, contact Lauren Konrad, Student Integration Coordinator, at 204.631.3345.
As thousands of athletes and spectators descend on Winnipeg for the 2017 Canada Summer Games, a group of Red River College students will be on hand to show them some of our trademark hospitality.
The five students — all of whom are completing the final stages of RRC’s Hospitality and Tourism Management program — are volunteering as team leads overseeing the set-up and operations of the Athletes’ Village at the University of Manitoba.
Their work at the Village will help them fulfill the final co-op term required to complete the second year of their program, in which all five are majoring in Hotel and Restaurant Management.
They first became involved with the Summer Games back in February, when instructor Krista Mask invited Jordon Lanthier, chair of accommodations for the event, to speak to her Rooms Management class about volunteer opportunities.
Mask says the students were immediately enthused, noting the Summer Games experience is perfect for those making their first forays into the industry.
“Many of my students have no work experience when they come to [RRC],” she explains. “And how do you build a resume without having had any paid positions?”
“This is a great opportunity, for them and their resumes — not only do they get to network with different people from all over, it’s also a huge boon in terms of tourism. And without volunteers, these types of events just don’t happen.” Read More →
A set of hockey sticks used by members of the Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose have been given new life at the Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport Achievement Centre (WASAC), where they’ll be used by local youths dreaming of becoming the next Mark Scheifele or Jocelyne Larocque.
The sticks, which were damaged or broken during game play last season, were donated to Red River College by True North Sports and Entertainment, and repaired to nearly-new quality by students in RRC’s Aerospace Manufacturing program.
As part of the program’s curriculum, the students fixed the sticks using a variety of composite materials, then delivered them to WASAC, which since 1999 has been providing Indigenous and inner-city youth with access to sport and leisure activities.
“The kids and staff at WASAC really represent the spirit of community, and we are thrilled to provide them with this new equipment,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “This project is a fantastic training opportunity for our students, who are learning to work with different composite materials, and as a bonus we are able to provide the younger generation of Winnipeg’s youth with opportunities to grow through sport.”
Vogt was joined at WASAC by RRC instructor Terry Morris (who led the project along with Chris Marek), to present the 18 sticks to WASAC participants, and join them in a game of hockey.
“We are humbled and excited to be recipients of NHL hockey sticks,” says WASAC Kids Camp coordinator Kate Doer. “These sticks were given to our children at summer camp and I know they'll create many special road hockey memories as the kids imagine themselves as their hockey heroes.” Read More →