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.
Red 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.”
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 →
A Red River College employee is encouraging Winnipeggers to show support for the city’s Muslim community, by literally opening their arms during a time of political turmoil.
Events and Facility Rental Coordinator Krista Michie recently hired RRC grad Kristen Masters (of Lemon Buttons) to design and produce hundreds of buttons bearing the slogan “Free Hugs for Muslims.”
She says the campaign was inspired by the current political climate, which has been further polarized in recent weeks by the attempted U.S. travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, continued debate over the plight of Syrian refugees, and a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque that left six worshippers dead.
“I was feeling sad about what’s going on in North America,” says Michie (shown). “It was my way of trying to show love, solidarity and inclusiveness.”
So far, Michie has given out more than 200 buttons, including those shared with fellow marchers at last weekend’s walk for human rights (among them, RRC President Paul Vogt).
She’s also had requests from former Winnipeg Blue Bomber Obby Khan, who asked for a batch to be dropped off at his downtown eatery, and from friends and acquaintances in Brandon and Saskatchewan.
Michie currently has about 100 buttons left to distribute — either in person, or by mail — but is open to producing a second batch, if there’s demand.
So far, she hasn’t had any requests for hugs — though as the buttons point out, that’s a standing offer.
“Not too sure people will actually take me up on that,” she says. “It’s more about sending the message that Muslims are accepted here.”
To request a button, send Michie an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Post-secondary students pursuing careers as professional accountants now have a new pathway option, made possible through a partnership between Red River College, the University of Winnipeg (UWinnipeg) and the Chartered Professional Accountants of Manitoba (CPA Manitoba).
The newly designed option, in effect September 2017, is the only pathway of its kind in Canada. It allows students to obtain a two-year diploma in Business Administration with a major in Accounting at Red River College, then ladder into UWinnipeg’s Faculty of Business & Economics to obtain a three-year Bachelor degree in Business and Administration, and finally to complete five CPA preparatory courses to meet the entrance requirements for the CPA Professional Education Program.
“We want to continue to be on the leading edge of meeting the needs of industry,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “Today’s partnership with UWinnipeg shows that we are working together as a network of post-secondary institutions to create greater mobility for students. Our partnership with CPA further demonstrates our close connections to industry and our ongoing efforts to ensure that our programming is relevant, timely, and accessible. The end result will benefit the profession and open more doors to rewarding careers for our students.”
The three partnering institutions are committed to making the programs as accessible as possible. This commitment includes development of additional online degree courses that will provide greater accessibility and flexibility, and will support the needs of adult learners who may be in the workforce and intend to pursue the CPA designation.
“CPA Manitoba is excited by the opportunity to partner with two of Manitoba’s most highly respected post-secondary institutions,” says Todd Scaletta, President and CEO of CPA Manitoba. “Together we will provide aspiring professionals innovative pathways to the unlimited opportunities in business, accounting and finance as a CPA. This new partnership offers individuals the flexibility of efficiently achieving the academic requirements for entry into CPA’s Professional Education Program, while studying part-time and gaining practical experience full-time.”
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 →
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 →
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 has received the largest influx of research funding since its applied research enterprise was first founded in 2004. The new $5.9-million investment will allow the College to boost innovation capacity in Manitoba’s vehicle technology and food development sectors.
“This is a red-letter day for the College, our partners, and for Manitoba’s innovation outlook in general,” says Paul Vogt, president and CEO of Red River College. “These national awards acknowledge not only industry needs, but the ability of the College to deliver innovation services, and Manitoba as a place where leading-edge products are developed.”
The Hon. MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour (on behalf of the Hon. Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science) announced today that RRC will receive $3.6 million for advanced and sustainable vehicle technology research and $2.3 million for culinary innovation.
“These new funds will be transformational for our research programs in the areas of vehicle technology and culinary innovation,” says Vogt. “Manitoba is already a major player in the world’s heavy vehicle sector, while we are undergoing a bit of a renaissance in terms of commercializing new food products. In both cases, these funds will help us work with producers to develop and test innovations.”
The awards have already sparked the establishment of a new Vehicle Technology & Energy Centre (VTEC) that will house MotiveLab, a 3,000-square foot research facility focused on supporting Manitoba’s heavy vehicle sector. MotiveLab will feature a 1,000 HP engine dynamometer test cell and a drive-in climatic chamber (large enough to fit a bus, truck or farm vehicle) with an integrated 1,000 HP chassis dynamometer. Read More →
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.