News Releases

Extreme weather testing facility coming to RRC

November 25, 2016

MotiveLab press announcement, November 2016

Red River College has announced the next steps in the construction of MotiveLab, a highly specialized extreme weather testing facility that will be the first of its kind in Western Canada.

MotiveLab is a 3,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility – essentially a giant heater or freezer – that will provide opportunities for industry testing on heavy vehicles of all shapes and sizes, including transit and highway buses. Already, companies have identified more than 65 full days of demand for MotiveLab’s research and development services.

“Manitoba’s heavy vehicle manufacturing sector is a cornerstone of our economy, and this research and testing facility is a direct result of our close ties with manufacturers, as well as our efforts to meet current and future training and technology needs,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

“It’s an approach we are taking across all sectors to help local industry innovate, create jobs of the future and be more competitive in the global marketplace.”

A funding announcement made today provides a total of $6 million for the construction of MotiveLab, a climatic chamber that allows for year-round testing to be conducted at extreme temperatures and under full loads using a 1,000 horsepower, three-axle dynamometer. The program will also train students in this highly specialized and emerging program area.

“The heavy vehicle sector is faced with increasingly stringent environmental demands, which has its players pushing the envelope in terms of new design and technology implementation,” says Ray Hoemsen, executive director of Research Partnerships & Innovation at RRC.

“This all gives way to ever greater research and testing needs. MotiveLab will be a unique Western Canadian facility that will help give Manitoba firms a competitive edge.” Read More →

RRC ranked top Prairie research college

November 3, 2016

Red River College is #1 on the Prairies in research, according to the latest Top 50 ranking of Canadian research colleges.

It’s not the first time RRC has been recognized as a leading college research institution, having ranked previously in Research Infosources’s top ten for three years running, and having earlier this year received the prestigious Synergy Award for Innovation from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Governor General of Canada.

“We definitely appreciate the acknowledgement of our efforts, but the true value of this recognition is realized when we further spread the word that Red River College serves as a critical partner in innovation for so many organizations,” says Paul Vogt, RRC’s president and CEO.

“As we continue to make substantial investments in applied research and learning resources, we see increasing interest from industry partners for us to help them solve problems, innovate, and produce graduates with the advanced technology training needed for today’s globally-competitive environment.”

The College’s swath of research resources continued to expand this year when RRC received $5.9-million in federal funding – the largest influx of research dollars in the College’s history – from NSERC and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). This new investment allowed the College to boost innovation capacity in Manitoba’s vehicle technology and food development sectors.

“It’s exciting to see how far we’ve come in such a short period of time, and to witness the positive impact our work has had on so many projects throughout our province,” says Ray Hoemsen, executive director of Research Partnerships & Innovation at RRC.

Read More →

National Skilled Trades and Technology Week launches at RRC

November 2, 2016

National Skilled Trades and Technology lWeek launch, Red River College

Today, Red River College and Skills/Compétences Canada (SCC) launched the twelfth National Skilled Trades and Technology Week (NSTTW), to create awareness for students and educators of the range of career opportunities available in skilled trades and technologies across the country.

“Careers in the skilled trades and technologies are of vital importance for Canada’s future economic stability and its standing in the global marketplace,” said Shaun Thorson, SCC’s Chief Executive Officer. “It is important that Canadian youth are informed about the many interesting and lucrative opportunities that are available to them in these sectors. During National Skilled Trades and Technology Week, students from across Canada will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities that highlight these potential careers.”

The two organizations hosted the official NSTTW launch at RRC’s Notre Dame Campus, where the Hon. Ian Wishart, Minister of Education and Training, and HGTV’s Sherry Holmes (Holmes Make it Right) kicked things off with a table-building competition for those in attendance.

Following the official program, students from Winnipeg and area schools took part in other interactive Try-A-Trade® and Technology activities, including welding, industrial mechanics, millright, carpentry, workplace safety, autobody repair, information technology, hairstyling and esthetics.

SCC also took the opportunity to announce the 2017 Skills Canada National Competition will be hosted in Winnipeg from May 31 to June 3 at the RBC Convention Centre. Read More →

Red River College signs MOU with Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology

June 22, 2016

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Red River College and the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology will explore new ways to provide programs and services that benefit learners, employers and communities, having signed a memorandum of understanding today that renews their commitment to partnerships and shared resources.

“This new agreement builds on the strengths of MITT and RRC by growing the relationship between both of our institutions,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “Not only will today’s commitment support our work in driving our province’s skilled trades agenda, but it will put us in a position to collaborate on initiatives that help all students succeed, including Indigenous, newcomer and international students. This evolving relationship between our institutions will continue to allow us to provide meaningful and rewarding educational opportunities and pathways for students.”

The MOU reaffirms the institutions’ commitment to working cooperatively to provide programs, improve pathways and expand services throughout Manitoba.

The MOU further states that both RRC and MITT will examine ways that each institution can share resources — including but not limited to facilities, equipment, curriculum and faculty expertise — while also supporting economic and social development initiatives to boost opportunities for Manitoba’s Indigenous and international students.

“The signing of the MOU demonstrates the commitment of both colleges to work together to the benefit of our students,” says MITT President Paul Holden. “We have to continue to encourage these forms of agreements across the post-secondary system. Whether that be between universities and colleges, or between a college and another college as is the case here, students need the opportunity to take what they have learned and see it recognized as they pursue advanced studies in other institutions in Manitoba.”

Both RRC and MITT are known for developing quality programs that are responsive to Manitoba’s evolving economic conditions and labour market. Both institutions have agreed to meet regularly to identify opportunities to work collaboratively and identify opportunities for mutual partnerships, with a goal of increasing credential portability in Manitoba’s post-secondary environment, while supporting each institution’s larger goals.

Shown above: Christine Watson, Vice-President, Academic and Research, RRC; Paul Holden, President and CEO, MITT; Paul Vogt, President and CEO, RRC; and Ray Karasevich, Vice-President Academic, MITT.

New SSHRC funding supports social innovation research into the impacts of positive learning environments

June 20, 2016

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New funding for Red River College’s Science of Early Child Development program will help explore the impact of improved language and literacy skills on vulnerable children and their caregivers.

The nearly $234,000 in funding — from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s (SSHRC) Community and College Social Innovation Fund — will support new research to understand how changing at-risk children’s education environments can have a positive ripple effect on the adults around them.

The College will use the funds to expand current work studying the Abecedarian Approach, an internationally recognized intervention that creates a play-based, language-focused environment to promote development in at-risk kids from birth to age five.

“We believe an important part of the story is missing where the research focus is solely on child outcomes,” says Janet Jamieson, research chair for RRC’s Health Sciences and Community Services department. “While a child’s world is shaped by their environment and those around them, it should not be ignored that they in turn can have important impacts on those external elements.”

While there are plenty of studies demonstrating the success of the Abecedarian Approach on child development, very little has been documented on the effects had on adult caregivers of children enrolled in the program.

The College’s research is expected to play a meaningful role in informing policy, through insights into how evidence-based interventions with children in impoverished and challenged neighbourhoods could have positive impacts on families and communities. Read More →

CreComm students team with MPI on new drunk driving awareness campaign

May 11, 2016

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The creative efforts of two Red River College students are behind Manitoba Public Insurance’s newest campaign, aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of impaired driving.

MPI’s newly launched ‘Bright Future’ campaign graphically depicts how a person’s future can turn dark when the decision is made to drive after drinking. Second-year Creative Communications students Rhianna Saj (above, left) and Shannay Smith conceived the story line.

As part of an assignment for their Advertising class, Saj and Smith submitted a project that was reviewed by their instructor and MPI staff, who’d been invited to evaluate student presentations at RRC. The team’s made-in-Manitoba concept was so impressive, MPI determined it should be developed into the corporation’s next campaign in its fight against impaired driving.

MPI found the dual meaning behind the ‘Bright Future’ theme to be particularly clever, as it intertwined a young person’s bright future with the bright lights of arrest and incarceration. It was this outside-the-box thinking that made the theme so appealing to MPI’s advertising department.

“This campaign is about young people engaging their peers to change attitudes around impaired driving — not the typical approach of talking ‘at’ this group,” says Ward Keith, vice-president, Business Development & Communications and chief product officer at MPI. Read More →

RRC supports WCIO to catalyze industry-academic partnerships across Western Canada

April 5, 2016

brent-wennekesRed River College has joined forces with the Western Canadian Innovation Offices (WCIO) consortium as part of an effort to connect Western Canadian industry needs with the array of research and innovation resources that exist in WCIO’s nearly 40-member consortium of universities, colleges and polytechnics across the West.

The WCIO is a Western Economic Diversification (WD) Canada-funded pilot project that seeks to enhance collaboration between academic research institutions, and enhance access to these institutions by prospective industry partners. The overall goal is improved engagement between industry and academia, in order to address industry-driven needs and challenges.

“Increasing R&D investment by Canadian business enterprises is definitely an opportunity for Western Canada,” says Ray Hoemsen, Director of Applied Research & Commercialization (AR&C), and WCIO steering committee member. “The WCIO initiative is working to be part of the solution by increasing the research and innovation-related engagement between industry and the post-secondary sector.”

RRC will support the WCIO with boots on the ground. Brent Wennekes, Research Manager with AR&C, has been seconded part-time — with direct financial support from WCIO — to perform as a business development specialist working with post-secondary institutions in Manitoba. Brent’s is one of eight such positions being created across the West.

“Brent is not only connected to Manitoba’s business community, he is also recognized by many local researchers via his experience with both RRC and Innovate Manitoba, and has developed an excellent understanding of Canada’s innovation ecosystem,” says Hoemsen.

WCIO currently has funding available for energy-related projects that include more than one institutional research partner. Read More →

Red River College earns second recognition for workplace diversity

February 24, 2016

diversity-2016-englishRed River College is proud to again be named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers, a designation that celebrates employers who stand out through their efforts to create diverse, inclusive workplaces.

This is the second year in a row RRC has been recognized with this distinction. To date, RRC is the only post-secondary institution in Manitoba to receive the designation.

“At Red River College we strive to ensure equity and diversity are embedded in College practices and demonstrated throughout the institution,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “Equity and inclusion form part of our blueprint and enable RRC to create a welcoming and open environment. I know I speak for the entire College community when I say how honoured we are to be recognized with this distinction for the second year in a row.”

As part of RRC’s submission, many initiatives supporting inclusive and open environments were highlighted, including the College’s LGBTT* Initiative, our Leadership Development Program (which includes Managing Mental Health in the Workplace training), our College-wide Mental Health Strategy, the development of a mentorship program for visible minorities, and our overall Workplace Equity and Diversity Strategy, which includes an employment systems review.

“Red River College continues to be proactive in efforts to support its employees, and today’s award is validation of the work being undertaken,” says Lori Grandmont, Vice-President, Human Resources and Sustainability. “I want to congratulate our employees for their work on these initiatives and for continually finding new and innovative ways to strengthen our workplace.”

Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for 2016 were announced today, with 65 organizations leading the nation in creating inclusive workplace cultures.

Research partnership with Manitoba Hydro nets national innovation award

February 16, 2016

NSERC Award CeremonyA research partnership with Manitoba Hydro focusing on sustainable building infrastructure and transportation has earned Red River College the top honour from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Presented today at a ceremony at the Governor General’s residence in Ottawa, NSERC’s Synergy Award for Innovation recognizes outstanding research and development partnerships between colleges and industry partners in the fields of natural sciences and engineering. Only one Canadian college receives the award each year.

“This award is the highest level of validation a college can receive for the impact and lasting benefits of its research partnerships efforts,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “Our partnerships with industry stakeholders like Manitoba Hydro are critical to our mandate for supporting innovation in Manitoba, and providing our graduates with the skills that industry requires.”

Dating back more than a decade, the partnership between RRC and Hydro includes collaboration on such high-profile projects as the award-winning Manitoba Hydro Place and the development of a zero-emissions electric battery transit bus.

“The legacy of the relationship between Manitoba Hydro and RRC will live on in our downtown office tower and zero-emission buses operating within many North American cities for decades to come,” says Lloyd Kuczek, Manitoba Hydro’s vice-president of Customer Care and Energy Conservation.

“These projects provide daily reminders of what we can accomplish through collaborative research and of the importance of leveraging the capabilities of research partners like RRC.”

Read More →

Province’s post-secondary institutions sign historic agreement advancing Indigenous education

December 21, 2015

image1Red River College helped make history last week, joining with every post-secondary institution in Manitoba — as well as the Manitoba School Boards Association — in signing the Indigenous Education Blueprint, an unprecedented commitment to advance Indigenous education in the province.

The transformational framework is the result of a new partnership between Manitoba’s public school boards and the post-secondary education sector, now united in their efforts to enhance Indigenous education and reconciliation, and to make Manitoba a global centre of excellence for Indigenous education, research, languages and culture.

The Blueprint takes action on recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and will translate into success for Indigenous students and their families, thereby enriching the lives of all Manitobans.

“Indigenous youth are one of the fastest growing populations in Canada,” said RRC President Paul Vogt. “They are our future — our future leaders, entrepreneurs and builders — and the next generation of our country. As colleges, we have a responsibility to work with other partners to continue to build upon our diverse range of post-secondary programs that support Indigenous learners on their educational journey.”

Next steps include such action items as establishing a steering committee with all signatories, creating a collaborative website and social media platform, and hosting a conference on Indigenous education.

The partners who met Friday to sign the historic Blueprint include RRC, the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg, Brandon University, Université de Saint-Boniface, Canadian Mennonite University, University College of the North, Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology, Assiniboine Community College and the Manitoba School Boards Association. Read More →

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