President

Paul Charette named RRC’s 2017 Honorary Degree recipient, 50 years after first graduating from College

June 5, 2017

Paul Charette, Gerri Charette, and Paul Vogt
He’s a titan of industry, a paragon of philanthropy and a proud Red River College graduate.

So naturally, the College is just as proud to congratulate Paul Charette on receiving this year’s Honorary Degree — a distinction that comes exactly 50 years after he first graduated from RRC.

“We are thrilled to present Paul with an honorary degree and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his graduation from Red River College,” says RRC President Paul Vogt (shown above, at right, with Charette and wife Gerri).

“We are very fortunate to have graduates like Paul, who share their vision and support and are constant ambassadors for RRC across the country. Paul’s generosity and enthusiasm for our College, as well as his commitment to providing opportunities for our graduates, is essential to what we are building at RRC.”

The former CEO of Bird Construction, Charette graduated from RRC’s Civil Technology program back in 1967 (after receiving a $200 bursary from the Women’s Auxiliary of West Kildonan).

He added to his credentials with a Computer Programming degree in 1968, then worked for nine years with Manitoba Hydro on the development of the Nelson River and Manitoba Rolling Mills expansion projects.

In 1976, Charette began working for Bird Construction — first as a project coordinator, then as chief operating officer (1988), chief executive office (1991), and chair of the board (2001). During that time, he led the company through a period of substantial growth, increasing revenues from $90 million in 1988 to more than $1 billion in 2008, when he stepped down as CEO.

The Charettes are RRC’s most prominent individual donors, having over the years established two award endowments — which fund 12 student awards each year — and the Paul and Gerri Charette Manitoba Applied Research Chair in Sustainable Construction. Read More →

Gene Haas Foundation donates $500,000 to new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre

June 1, 2017

Haas Foundation donationThe Gene Haas Foundation has made a $500,000 donation to Red River College’s new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre (STTC), scheduled to open next year at the Notre Dame Campus.

The announcement was made at the RBC Convention Centre during the 2017 Skills Canada National Competition, taking place in Winnipeg until June 3.

“We are humbled by the generosity of the Gene Haas Foundation and their continued support of our College,” said RRC president Paul Vogt. “Not only will our Skilled Trades and Technology Centre expand our applied learning environment, it will foster a collaborative approach within our program areas that will have a positive impact on our pre-employment training, applied research projects, and overall student success. This gift from HAAS allows us to provide new and improved opportunities for our students and for that we are extremely grateful.”

With a footprint of approximately 100,000 square feet, the STTC will house new laboratory and shop space and classrooms for up to 1,000 students each year in high-demand trades and technologies. The building will be home to leading applied research, technology and innovation in the fields of robotics, automation, advanced manufacturing and more.

When operational, the STTC will boost RRC’s skilled trades training capacity by more than 30 per cent.

“Red River College has a reputation for producing high-quality and high-skilled students who turn into respected members of the workforce,” said Kathy Looman, Foundation Administrator for the Gene Haas Foundation. “We are thrilled to be a part of this state-of-the-art facility and to watch as it continues to provide RRC with the momentum it needs to continue to develop and grow to ensure student success.”

The Gene Haas Foundation also presented RRC with a $30,000 (USD) gift for the Gene Haas Awards at RRC and a $60,000 (USD) gift to Skills Canada for the Skills Canada Financial Sponsorship that awards medalists in CNC Machining and Precision Metal and Manufacturing.

Shown above, from left: Kathy Looman, Foundation Administrator, Gene Haas Foundation; Joanne Haas, representative, Gene Haas Foundation; Paul Krainer, President, Thomas Skinner & Son Ltd.; Paul Vogt, President and CEO, Red River College.

College awarded nearly $2 million in funding for industry and university partnerships

May 2, 2017

Red River College has received nearly $2 million in federal funding for applied research in aerospace, manufacturing and sustainable building technology, including a milestone for RRC in the form of its first College-University partnership grant.

“This is great news not only for the College but for aerospace, manufacturing and sustainable building technology,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “We are placing a strong emphasis on collaboration, bridging a critical gap between colleges, industry and universities by working directly with the University of Manitoba.”

Federal Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan announced the grants during an industry breakfast at the Colleges and Institutes Canada Conference in Ottawa.

“I’m so pleased that the government of Canada was involved in such a valuable funding opportunity,” says Duncan. “Uniting Red River College with these sustainable industries will allow for brilliant minds to work towards a bright future for Canada; complete with a vibrant middle class, quality jobs and an innovative economy.”

Both grants were awarded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). The first, worth $113,000, is for a partnership with the University of Manitoba to develop a cost-effective thermally broken concrete balcony. This marks the first time RRC has received one of NSERC’s College-University Idea to Innovation Grants, signalling an ongoing commitment to collaborate with other post-secondary institutions. Read More →

College to add new $95-million Innovation Centre to Exchange District Campus

April 27, 2017

RRC Innovation Centre

Red River College will help create jobs, expand research and foster innovation downtown, having announced plans for the construction of a new $95-million Innovation Centre in the heart of Winnipeg Exchange’s District.

The College will use government and private-sector funding to develop the new facility, the first of its kind in Western Canada. The new Innovation Centre will attract an additional 1,200 students to the Exchange, stimulating economic development and further growth of the historic district.

The Centre will bring together students, instructors, researchers, industry and community members to work on commercialization projects for startups and SMEs. It will also enable social enterprise and Indigenous entrepreneurship, and help ensure students are job-ready and able to thrive in the economy.

“This is a major step forward for the future of Red River College,” says RRC President Paul Vogt (shown, below). “It represents a modernization and a new approach to teaching and partnerships while still doing what RRC does best — providing job-ready grads to industry and helping to drive economic growth.”

“This historic investment … is a down payment on the government’s vision to position Canada as a global centre for innovation,” says Jim Carr, federal Minister of Natural Resources. “That means making Canada a world leader in turning ideas into solutions, science into technologies, skills into middle-class jobs and startup companies into global successes.” Read More →

College named one of Canada’s greenest employers for seventh year

April 21, 2017

Rooftop beekeeping at RRC

From urban beekeeping, to landfill diversion efforts, to active transportation options for staff and students, Red River College shows no sign of ending its Greenest Employer winning streak.

For the seventh year in a row, RRC’s environmentally friendly policies and efforts to engage staff and students in sustainability efforts have resulted in a Canada’s Greenest Employer designation from Mediacorp Canada.

Today, almost 90 per cent of staff and faculty believe that sustainability needs to be a priority in all College operations, and it continues to be a key strategic priority, as well as a fundamental part of RRC’s five-year Strategic Plan.

“Red River College continues to be a champion of sustainability in Manitoba, and I congratulate all members of our College community for their efforts in continuing to cultivate a culture of sustainability at RRC,” says RRC president Paul Vogt. “From our applied research on green construction and vehicle technologies, to our recycling programs, to our state-of-the-art building projects, that culture touches everything we do.”

Feeding into that culture are the many initiatives that support RRC’s commitment to a green environment, including recycling and composting programs, efforts to promote public transit and other active transportation options, and e-waste drives that divert more than 10,000 pounds of electronic waste from landfills each year. Read More →

Spring ceremony marks opening of sweat lodge for RRC students and staff

April 20, 2017

Elders, leaders and students from Red River College came together today in a special ceremony to mark the official opening of the College’s first sweat lodge.

Led by Elders Jules Lavallee and Mae Louise Campbell, the event involved more than 20 participants, many of whom had never taken part in this type of sacred ceremony before.

“Today is a very important day as we continue our work to infuse Indigenous culture, knowledge and teachings across our College,” said RRC President Paul Vogt. “Indigenous student success is a priority at Red River College, and that means providing culturally relevant student supports to help remove barriers and create more pathways to success for our Indigenous learners.”

“We have a significant Indigenous student population at Red River College and this important addition to our ceremonial grounds will have an amazing impact for many years to come.”

The dome-shaped structure represents the womb of Mother Earth, and was made out of willow trees that were collected and prepared last November. Once the branches were in position, they were tied together and the frame was covered with canvas.

Each sweat lodge ceremony has a different purpose, and is led by an Elder or spiritual leader who provides teachings and songs. Through this profoundly personal experience, the body is cleansed, which aids in removing stress and improves participants’ mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. Sweat lodge ceremonies are used to give thanks, to heal, to seek wisdom, and to purify the mind, body, and soul. Read More →

Olympic-style trades and technology competition draws hundreds of young Manitobans to RRC

April 13, 2017

Cabinet making competition

More than 500 students and apprentices will show off their trades- and technology-related talents at Red River College today, as they compete in hands-on, Olympic-style contests as part of the twentieth annual Skills Manitoba Competition.

Many of the individual competition winners will advance to the Skills Canada National Competition, being hosted this year in Winnipeg from May 31 to June 3.

Today’s provincial event is held by Skills Manitoba Canada to raise awareness of the country’s skilled workforce shortage, and of the merits of post-secondary training in trades and technology.

“The skilled trades offer opportunities for positions with great pay, job security and flexibility,” says Maria Pacella, executive director of Skills Canada Manitoba.

“Manitoba’s economy needs thousands of skilled workers going forward, and colleges will play a huge role in filling this demand,” adds RRC President Paul Vogt.

“Competitions like Skills Manitoba and Skills Canada are extremely important, as they showcase the opportunities that exist for meaningful and rewarding careers in the trades. We are pleased to be supporting Skills Manitoba, and are particularly thrilled to be putting Winnipeg on the national stage when [the Skills Canada competition] comes to Manitoba in June.” Read More →

College opens new project space in Innovation Alley

April 7, 2017

Red River College’s ACE Project Space and North Forge Technology Exchange today celebrated the grand opening of their new Innovation Alley locations, by officially launching several new initiatives aimed at helping startup businesses innovate and grow.

In RRC’s ACE Project Space — part of the College’s thriving Exchange District Campus — Business Information Technology and Business Technology Management students work with entrepreneurs-in-residence on new technologies, product development, and pushing innovation to the edge.

The new space has allowed the program to grow rapidly and more than double its partnerships — to 16 successful projects to date. As well, the space allows students to work closely with non-profit organizations to provide IT solutions for them and the community.

“This is about students working hand-in-hand with private industry on real-world projects in real time,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “It provides our students with leading-edge, hands-on training and experience, while providing startups with much-needed technical support. This kind of partnership is essential to business growth and job creation in our province.”

Vogt says RRC is thrilled to partner with North Forge Technology Exchange and, together, anchor Winnipeg’s growing Innovation Alley.

“We are constantly working to support innovation on the ground floor and create critical mass for Manitoba’s startup community,” says North Forge President Jeff Ryzner. “The development of our new building at 321 McDermot advances our goals and provides entrepreneurs with a place to work together. It’s about fostering innovation, creating jobs and driving economic growth.” Read More →

Eyes to the skies: Award-winning alumni billboard campaign returns

April 3, 2017

RRC billboard: Darrell Brown

Red River College launches its 2017 billboard campaign this week – marking the return of the highly anticipated public celebration of RRC grads and their diverse employers.

“Red River College is pleased to once again join forces with leading Manitoba businesses to showcase elite alumni who are working in industry and in the community across the province,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “This creative, co-operative marketing campaign is about recognizing strategic partnerships and celebrating student success.”

Appearing this spring and summer on nearly 60 billboards throughout Winnipeg and rural Manitoba, the 2017 campaign features 40 members from RRC’s diverse alumni community.

“It is wonderful to partner with Red River College and to help showcase the fact that RRC grads get jobs in their fields and are leaders in our community,” says Darrell Brown, founder and president of KISIK Inc., an Indigenous-owned and operated provider of office furniture.

“I think it’s important that we continue to reach out to young people, particularly Indigenous youth, to ensure they know about the tremendous opportunities that come from an RRC education. College education is a key pathway to success and I’d encourage all young Manitobans to take a close look at what RRC has to offer.”

The last iteration of the campaign, which rolled out in 2015 and 2016, has won several national and international awards including a CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) Circle of Excellence Award (Best Advertising Campaign: Silver), an International Signature Award (Best Practices in Communications and Marketing: Bronze, and the 2016 Communicator of the Year Award (Large Category) from the Canadian Public Relations Society of Manitoba. Read More →

Out of the brew: RRC unveils new malt miso made from beer-brewing byproduct

March 31, 2017

RRC Chef Joel Lamoureux

Red River College partnered with two local microbreweries today to unveil a new culinary invention — miso made from spent grain — at an event showcasing the College’s growing Culinary Research and Innovation program, and its impact on food creation in Manitoba.

Partners from the province, federal government and industry were among the special guests at today’s miso soup tasting at Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, the hub of RRC’s culinary research and education activities.

“This miso project is a really innovative partnership that links Manitoba’s dynamic microbrewery industry with local culinary arts and research,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

RRC teamed up with Farmery Estate Brewery and Torque Brewing to test methods for using spent grains from the beer-brewing process to produce miso, putting a new twist on an ancient culinary tradition. Other partners included the Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network (MAHRN) and the University of Manitoba’s Food Science department.

“The Government of Canada is proud to support scientific research and innovation that creates opportunities for the agri-food industry,” says Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Minister Lawrence MacAulay. “Finding alternative ways to use agricultural products and increase their value helps create good jobs and grow the middle class in Canada.”

Since 2014, RRC has been ramping up its culinary research through new partnerships with industry and support from federal and provincial governments. That growth has led to many new innovations with local producers.

“Partnerships help identify new and sometimes unexpected opportunities,” says Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler. “Our government is proud to help support this project, which has the potential to create new value-added opportunities while creating new, delicious foods. This project reflects the innovative spirit shared by so many Manitobans.” Read More →

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