News

80+ college presidents push for increased federal support

November 17, 2009

Red River College's Dr. Jeff Zabudsky has joined over 80 college presidents from across the country on Parliament Hill this week to make the case for increased investment in Canada's colleges, polytechnics and technical institutes.

This is the first time the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) has organized such a large group of college officials to meet with federal policymakers. It comes at a time when enrolment in college programs is growing across the country, and the need for college-based work to commercialize innovations is increasing.

For more information, see the ACCC news release below and Dr. Zabudsky's latest column in the Winnipeg Sun.

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Keep Canada competitive: Support colleges, institutes and polytechnics

OTTAWA, Nov. 17 /CNW/ - Canada must quickly ramp up its support for colleges, institutes and polytechnics, if we are to keep pace with our international competitors, says James Knight, president and chief executive officer of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC).

"Science and technology minister Goodyear said recently that Canada does very well at supporting 'basic, discovery-oriented research' but not so well 'getting innovations out the door'. We agree, and one of the reasons for this is that Canada is not doing enough to support its colleges, institutes and polytechnics."

Knight says Canada lags behind other countries when it comes to commercializing the fruits of research and developing the products, processes and materials that fuel companies and creates jobs.

Colleges, institutes and polytechnics are key contributors to Canada's innovation system. They help businesses start, develop and grow. They also lead in finding applications for scientific research and transferring technology to the marketplace. But the chronic shortage of funding limits their capacity to perform these crucial functions and meet the needs of Canada's economy.

ACCC gives full marks to the federal government for targeting post-secondary institutions for capital investment as part of its recession-fighting stimulus strategy, and investments under the Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP) have been important. But the two-year, $600-million program ($1.2 billion including the provincial component) falls short of the estimated $7 billion needed to modernize and expand Canada's colleges, institutes and polytechnics.

"Our waiting lists were long before the recession," said Knight. "They are growing longer now as people who have lost their jobs in the recession flock to colleges to re-skill. Our capacity crunch is keeping thousands of qualified applicants who want jobs from acquiring the advanced skills they need."

The ACCC says two key issues require action: capital investment and support for industry-driven research partnerships.

To tackle the need for capital investment, the Association says the federal government should extend and expand KIP, and is calling for a five-year program would make $2.5 billion available to leverage matching provincial, private sector and institutional investments.

Second, ACCC is calling on the government to increase its current research and development funding by five per cent, or approximately $150 million and create an applied research and development fund to foster new research-and-development synergies between industry and colleges, institutes, polytechnics and cégeps.

"We understand the fiscal context that governments are in. But these are modest and realistic measures," said Knight. "Only by fueling our engines of innovation, skills-development and productivity growth can we continue to maintain the advanced, competitive economy needed to support a prosperous nation. From our perspective, inaction is not an option."

Waste Reduction Week at RRC

October 29, 2009

Waste Reduction Week 2009 (Oct. 19-25) was a success at Red River College as staff and students participated in a variety of activities to encourage them to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Vermicomposting Demonstration

Greenspace Management instructor Ruth Rob gave a demonstration of vermicomposting -- a method of processing organic waste using Red Wriggler worms. Ruth was kind enough to offer an explanation for the RedBlog cameras:

Reusable Mug Sale

Urged on by a new poster that showed the staggering amount of disposable cups the College uses every year, coffee drinkers took advantage of a great deal on reusable mugs. In total 245 mugs were sold, which is equivalent to diverting 49,000 cups from the landfill each year.

Composting Lunch & Learn

A representative from Resource Conservation Manitoba gave a noon-hour workshop on composting.

Recycling Facility Tour

A dozen staff from different areas of the College toured the
facility that sorts through millions of tonnes of recyclable material
collected by the City of Winnipeg each year.

Recycling Bin Giveaway

Dozens of the College's old metal recycling bins were given away for reuse as planters and storage containers.

Waste Reduction Quiz

Congratulations to Notre Dame Campus student Max B. who won a $50 RED card for answering all the following questions correctly:

  • The average person produces 5 pounds of waste every day.
  • Staff and students at the Notre Dame Campus go through 600,000 paper cups a year.
  • Paper is the most recycled material at the College. It comprises 50% of all materials recycled at the College, and it equivalent to every staff and student discarding 14 pounds of paper every year.
  • Tim Horton’s cups cannot be recycled. The plastic lids can be recycled from your residential blue box, but our recycling provider does not accept them.
  • Yes, the stack of paper cups used by the College in just one year would be taller than Mount Everest.

In the news: Exchange District expansion, United Way, alumni success

October 22, 2009

Jessica Cable, a student at RRC's Exchange District Campus, penned the "letter of the day" in the Winnipeg Free Press on Oct. 21st. Cable wrote about her enthusiasm for the College's plan to transform the union Bank Tower into the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, saying:

"It's great to see Red River is continuing to occupy these historic and vacant buildings, maintaining the heritage while converting them into incredible college campuses. Hopefully this conversion will be a catalyst to bring more people, more life, to the neighbourhood."

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Red River College President Jeff Zabudsky used his most recent column in the Winnipeg Sun to talk about the other job that's keeping him busy these days: serving as Chair of the 2009 United Way of Winnipeg Campaign.

Zabudsky discusses the widespread impact of United Way in our community, and urges readers to participate in this year's campaign:

"There's never been a more important time to support United Way of Winnipeg. Without you, there would be no way."

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Dovbniak1 The Winnipeg Free Press recently profiled Staci Dovbniak, a graduate of the Youth Recreation Activity Worker program that's delivered by Red River College and funded by the Boys and Girls Club of Winnipeg and the United Way.

A regular at the Knox United Boys and Girls Club when she was a child, Dovbniak has returned to the organization to work as a program facilitator at the Victor Mager Club in St. Vital.

Manitoba's new Premier makes RRC his first stop

October 20, 2009

After being sworn in as Manitoba's new Premier yesterday, the Honourable Greg Selinger's first public duty was a visit to Red River College's new Heavy Equipment Transportation Centre this morning.

Selinger met with senior College staff, including President Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, and had the opportunity to talk with instructors and students in the heavy transport apprenticeship programs.

Read more in the Winnipeg Free Press

RRC Begins Construction on the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute

October 15, 2009

2009 Chain Cutting at Main Street 018[1]

The next phase of development at Red River College's Exchange District Campus kicked off today with the start of exterior renovation work at the Union Bank Tower.

Locked away from the public for nearly two decades, this National Historic Site will be transformed over the next two years into the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, a new home for RRC's culinary and hospitality programs and the College's first student residence.

"This facility will build on the momentum that Red River College started in this neighbourhood with the construction of our original Exchange District Campus buildings, and will help solidify Winnipeg's reputation as a regional centre for culinary excellence and food production," said Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, President of Red River College.

Building Features

  • 49,500 square feet of new instructional space.
  • State-of-the-art culinary and baking labs.
  • Dedicated space for RRC to partner on applied research projects with Manitoba-based growers, and food and beverage producers.
  • Jane’s restaurant (a 110 seat fine dining restaurant/lounge), Hard Drive Café ( a 100 seat casual diner), and Grab-and-Go (quick service) food outlets.
  • A retail showcase to promote Manitoba food products.
  • A green roof with herb garden.
  • LEED standards for sustainability and energy efficiency.
  • Red River College’s first student residence (100 beds).

The College also announced today that it has received a $500,000 grant toward the project from The Winnipeg Foundation, one of Canada's leading philanthropic organizations.

The total construction cost of $27 million is also being supported by the Government of Canada, Province of Manitoba, City of Winnipeg/Centreventure and Paterson GlobalFoods/The Paterson Foundation. The College will continue to work with community and corporate partners to raise additional capital funds.

At top: Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, Mr. Andrew Paterson, The Honourable Vic Toews,
The Honourable Ron Lemieux and Mayor Sam Katz participate in the chain
cutting ceremony for the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute.

Related:

Manitoba's Lieutenant Governor visits RRC

October 9, 2009

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Manitoba's new Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Philip S. Lee, visited Red River College on October 9th. Mr. Lee met with senior executives to learn more about the College's academic and research activities, and toured the facilities at the Notre Dame Campus. Here he is pictured with RRC President Dr. Jeff Zabudsky.

More distance learners than ever at RRC

October 5, 2009

More students than ever before are pursuing their education at Red River College without ever having to set foot on campus.

Participation in the College's distance education courses hit an all-time high of more than 4,600 registrations in 2008/09. This marked a 15.3% increase over 2007/08, and follows several years of consistent growth.

College officials say increased awareness of distance education options, enhanced use of online learning technologies, and an expanded line-up of courses have driven the enrolment growth.

"The majority of our distance education students are employed full-time. Their primary reason for pursuing additional training is to obtain a certificate or diploma, and distance education gives them the flexibility to do that on their own schedule," explained Rae-Ann Thibeault, Dean of RRC's School of Continuing & Distance Education.

RRC currently offers 13 certificates, two post-graduate certificates and two diplomas entirely by distance education. Students can also combine distance and in-class learning to pursue several dozen more certificate options.

Celebrity chef has kudos for RRC

September 30, 2009

Celebrity chef Michael Smith -- star of Food Network Canada's "Chef Abroad" program had some words of advice for budding young culinary enthusiasts in today's Winnipeg Free Press:

"I guess good advice for any young person that's thinking about becoming a chef is definitely to consider cooking school, and you've got a great one right here in town, Red River College," he says. "That's certainly a good career move."

Learn more about RRC's award-winning Culinary Arts and Professional Baking programs.

Fall enrolment up 3.3% at Red River College

September 22, 2009

Red River College's enrolment figures have hit yet another record high, with 3.3% more full-time students on campus this fall compared to last year.
 
Growth has taken place across all student categories, including significant jumps in Advanced Diploma (+17.7%), Certificate (+9.9%) and Apprenticeship (+8.0%) enrolments.
 
Full-time enrolment is also up 16.8% at RRC's five regional campuses, located in Steinbach, Portage la Prairie, Gimli, Winkler and Peguis/Fisher River.
 
While students are increasingly seeing the value of an applied education, College officials say finding somewhere to put them all is a growing challenge.
 
"For several years now we've been operating essentially full," explained Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, President of Red River College. "Through creative scheduling and program delivery we've managed to make room, but the time has come to expand the College to meet student and industry demand."
 
RRC is currently pursuing several projects to expand capacity for students and for applied research projects, including:

  • Construction of a new Heavy Equipment Transportation Centre.
  • Development of a modern skilled trades centre at the Notre Dame Campus.
  • Restoration of the Union Bank Tower to become the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, a student residence and a new home for RRC's culinary and hospitality programs.
  • Relocation of the Language Training Centre to the Massey Building in the Exchange District.

The College expects to release information about continuing and distance education enrolments later this week.

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