President

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 →

College named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for third year running

March 28, 2017

Red River College has been named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for the third year in a row. This prestigious recognition — awarded today to 65 organizations across the country — highlights employers that stand out through their efforts to create diverse, inclusive workplaces.

“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 help us create a welcoming and open environment. This reflects the commitment of our faculty and staff and it’s an honor to be recognized with this distinction for the third year in a row.”

The College coordinates a number of initiatives that encourage diversity and inclusivity, including workshops hosted by RRC’s Elders in Residence, our LGBTT* Initiative, our Healthy Minds, Healthy College Initiative, and a workforce audit to determine representation of designated group members in the workforce.

RRC also recently conducted an Inclusive Campus Climate Review, which gave members of the College community an opportunity to provide feedback on what it means to create an inclusive climate. The Review will help guide RRC as mechanisms are put in place to make inclusion a self-sustaining part of the College environment.

Now in its tenth year, Mediacorp Canada’s Best Diversity Employers competition recognizes the nation’s leaders in creating inclusive workplaces for employees from five diverse groups: women, visible minorities, persons with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) peoples.

New supports launched to enhance mental health programming at RRC

March 24, 2017

Michael Landsberg, TSNRed River College has announced two new support services as part of the Healthy Minds Healthy College initiative aimed at enhancing mental health programming for students, staff and faculty.

The announcement coincided with a broader awareness-raising event, in which TSN’s Michael Landsberg — one of the faces of Bell Let’s Talk Day — brought his #SICKNOTWEAK talk to RRC.

“We’re excited that Michael has joined us to help us announce these new and important initiatives, but to also talk about his personal battle with depression,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “Michael’s leadership has made a tremendous difference in the lives of many Canadians.”

The two programs being launched by the College include:

The Red River ReliefLine, a 24/7 online peer support service provided free of charge to all students, who can access trained listeners through their computer, tablet, or smart phone. The College has purchased a one-year license for this service with funds from a Program Innovation Fund. The service is available in a variety of languages and gives students access to simple therapeutic exercises that can enhance coping skills.

The Working Mind, an educational workplace mental health and wellness program developed and endorsed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. The program is designed to promote mental health and reduce the stigma associated with mental health problems and illnesses in the workplace. The training helps individuals identify poor mental health in themselves and others, while building resiliency. RRC has committed to training four internal champions who will in turn deliver the program to others.

“As both an educational institution and employer, RRC recognizes that it has a responsibility to create a safe, responsive and healthy environment that supports mental health and well-being for students, staff and faculty,” says Breanna Sawatzky, Mental Health Coordinator at RRC.

“For students, RRC is where they will learn and practice key competencies that set them up for success in their future workplaces. Learning to support their own positive mental health, and reach out for help when need, are among those competencies.”

College creates new executive director role to provide leadership on Indigenous strategy

March 16, 2017

On the same day Mayor Brian Bowman called on the city to adopt a municipal Indigenous Accord, Red River College announced the creation of a new executive director position to provide leadership on advancing Indigenous education.

The role of the executive director, Indigenous strategy will include providing direction on how best to expand programs and supports for Indigenous students, and to build partnerships with Indigenous leaders and the community.

Advancing Indigenous achievement is one of the top priorities in RRC’s Strategic Plan (2016-2021), as well as a key goal of the Academic Division, which is committed to enhancing the environment supporting Indigenous student success. RRC is also a signatory to the Manitoba Indigenous Education Blueprint (2016) — one of nine post-secondary institutions in the province — following the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

“The TRC report is clear — Indigenous Canadians need access to post-secondary education and supports while in school if we are to close the income and employment gap in our country,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “One of the specific calls to action is to establish senior level positions in order to elevate the priority of Indigenous programming and forge new pathways to success. Today’s announcement is a major step in this direction.”

Christine Watson, RRC’s vice-president Academic, said the new executive director, Indigenous strategy will play a key role in helping RRC meet its strategic and academic goals. The new ED will work with and provide advice to all deans, academic divisions and student support services, as well as lead on enhancing relationships with the Indigenous community and the College’s recently-formed Indigenous Achievement Strategic Council.

The overall goal will be to improve and expand the College’s academic programming and supports for Indigenous students — building on recent recommendations from College staff and faculty during consultations on the Strategic Plan and through such forums as RRC’s Open Cafés.

“RRC has a significant and growing Indigenous student body and it is important that we are proactive in taking steps to ensure student success, to address historic barriers and to fill gaps that have been identified,” Watson says. “We are fortunate to have our Elders and an incredibly engaged, dedicated and experienced staff and faculty group who will provide leadership and a strong foundation for enhancing Indigenous education as we move forward.” Read More →

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