Feds launch new fund to strengthen communities, support social innovation research in Canadian colleges

November 21, 2014

CCSI FundAlready a model of the potential for success through partnerships with community organizations, Red River College stands to benefit even further from a new pilot project aimed at strengthening communities through social innovation research.

Announced today by the Hon. Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), the new Community and College Social Innovation Fund will increase colleges’ capacity to engage in collaborative projects with community organizations and businesses to address such social issues as poverty, crime prevention, community safety and economic development.

“Our government understands that local community organizations are essential in addressing social issues like economic development, poverty, education and integration in Canadian communities,” says Holder (shown above, fifth from left). “The Community and College Social Innovation Fund will connect the innovative talent of researchers and students at colleges and polytechnics to meet the research needs of local community organizations to build stronger, safer, healthier communities.”

Administered through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the fund allows colleges and polytechnics to partner with community organizations and businesses to apply for funding of up to $200,000 (plus an additional 20 per cent to offset overhead and administrative costs) to undertake collaborative projects that address community issues.

The new fund will provide $15 million over three years in support of social innovation projects, which could take the form of products, processes or programs that create positive social outcomes for communities.

“Social innovation requires breakthrough ideas, applied research and community collaboration,” says David Rew, Interim President of RRC. “We welcome the government’s recognition that colleges like RRC are instrumental in making meaningful contributions to advancing solutions to issues that face communities, not only in Manitoba, but [throughout the globe].” Read More →

Fueling Manitoba's economy: RRC reports 4.3% increase in full-time attendance

September 10, 2014

Fall2014Preliminary numbers for Red River College’s Fall 2014 full-time attendance show an increase of 4.3% over the previous fall.

“The growth in full-time attendance at the College is a testament to increasing student and employer demand for the programs we offer, and to the solid reputation the College has in delivering those programs to a high level of satisfaction for both,” says David Rew, Interim President and CEO, Red River College. “Credit must be given to RRC’s initiatives and those of the Province in raising awareness of skilled trades training, which is reflected in these preliminary numbers.”

With 96% of graduates finding employment — and a 96% satisfaction rate amongst grads — Red River College has become a compelling first choice for post-secondary education.

Of particular note, this year’s increases include Culinary Arts (up 23%), Hospitality and Tourism Management (up 52%), Automotive Technician (up 78%), Intro to Trades (up 76%), Precision Metal Manufacturing (up 216%), and Cabinetry and Woodworking Technology (up 21%).

RRC’s degree programs in Construction Management and Nursing, and its Access Nursing program, saw a 4.7% increase in overall attendance.

Over the next few weeks, attendance may fluctuate as numbers from RRC regional campuses, and Continuing Education and Apprenticeship programs are tabulated.

New RRC Interim President discusses his vision for the coming year

September 9, 2014

David Rew_for webAt the start of the current academic year, David Rew — formerly the Vice-President of Student Services and Planning at Red River College — took over as Interim President and CEO, following the departure of former president Stephanie Forsyth.

Born in Scotland and raised in Malaysia, Rew has been an RRC employee for the last 35 years, and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his new role, having in the past served as everything from co-op coordinator and instructor to program chair and dean.

We sat down with Rew to discuss his vision for the coming academic year, as well as his hopes and goals for the College going forward.

You’re taking over as president and CEO under somewhat challenging circumstances. What would you like to say to staff, students and supporters of the College about the events of the last few days and months?

The last few months have certainly created a sense of uncertainty and unease. But the reactions to these events have — from what I’ve sensed and picked up — created a sense of relief, primarily because we now know that we have fully staffed and engaged leadership at the College. Part of that sense of feeling good about where we’re heading is that I’m really encouraged by how the Executive group has rallied and is committed to rebuilding a really effective team.

Last week, we had a couple of gaps in the Executive group. We’ve now filled those. Raeann Thibeault is coming in as acting Vice-President of Community Development, and Cindee Laverge is coming in as acting Vice-President of Student Services and Planning. This rounds us out, and we’re going to spend some time together working through the key issues and priorities we know we have to address, and we know we have to address them pretty quickly. We’re not going to be doing that in isolation — we’re going to be engaging people from around the College who we feel can help us work through the problems we’ve identified.

On a broader note, going down to the staff barbecue last Friday — and getting a chance to walk around and talk to people — felt really good and really positive. There were smiling faces, people were glad to be back, and they were wishing me well, which I really appreciated. I felt we got off to a good start to the year, so I’m really encouraged and really hopeful that we will have an excellent year. Read More →

RRC offers summer camps, work experience co-ops to connect youth to careers in skilled trades

June 10, 2014

From left: Apprenticeship and Certification Board Chair Leonard Harapiak; Minister of Jobs and the Economy Minister Theresa Oswald; RRC alum Nina Widmer (Bricklaying Apprentice); Reg Toews, Coordinator, Red River Technical Vocational Area High School Apprenticeship Program; RRC President Stephanie Forsyth.

More than 230 youth will gain awareness and exposure to the skilled trades through the province’s new Building for Tomorrow summer program – a series of educational camps and work experience programs delivered by Red River College and a network of other business, community and educational partners

"This summer, many of our children will have new opportunities to have fun while learning about a potential future career in various trades, including construction and transportation, trade and technology, hospitality and the culinary arts," said Jobs and the Economy Minister Theresa Oswald. "Our government is focused on helping families and youth in exploring the many paths to good jobs and rewarding careers right here in Manitoba, and starting that conversation while kids are still in school."

The province will support more than a dozen new camps during the summer, including RRC’s Girls Exploring the Trades and Technology (GETT) camps, which gives girls aged 12 to 14 the opportunity to design and build their own go-carts, while learning about the importance of science, math and industrial arts-based courses in high school.

Other camps include:

  • RRC’s Portage Campus will offer two one-week programs, introducing 32 Aboriginal youth (Grades 6 to 8) to various skilled trades; Assiniboine Community College will offer 15 participants introductory experiences in carpentry or culinary arts.
  • Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Association Inc., in partnership with RRC, will offer 15 Aboriginal youths (Grades 9 and 10) with opportunities to experience different trades, with a special focus on the culinary trades, while learning about the apprenticeship training model; participants will receive certified food-handler training and workplace hazard information system training.
  • University College of the North will provide 80 Aboriginal youth in Flin Flon with the basic skills needed for a successful career in the skilled trades.
  • Career Trek Inc., in partnership with the Manitoba Construction Sector Council and Winnipeg Technical College, will provide 24 Grade 9 youth with exposure to the carpentry trade.

Read More →

RRC to launch pilot program providing educational opportunities for Manitobans with intellectual disabilities

June 3, 2014

From left: Melanie Wight (MLA, Burrows); Manitoba Finance Minister Jennifer Howard; RRC President Stephanie Forsyth; and Wescan Capital President Peter Jessiman.

A new pilot program at Red River College this fall will provide individuals with intellectual disabilities full access to post-secondary educational opportunities and a successful transition into the workforce.

The 20-student Transforming Futures program will begin in September 2014, and will include hands-on learning in career exploration, essential employability skills and full integration into RRC programming if a student chooses this option. Students will complete classes leading to their certification, which will help them get ready for future employment.

“Red River College’s vision aligns with the goals of this program: to enable all students to build a career, enhance quality of life and contribute to Manitoba’s economic and social prosperity through exceptional applied education and research,” says RRC President Stephanie Forsyth. “This is the largest college in the province, and we are uniquely positioned to deliver accessible, innovative programming for students with intellectual disabilities. With the financial support of the province – and support of community champions and private donors – this pilot project is ready for launch.”

The 2013 Assuring Income Security and Equality for Canadians with Intellectual Disabilities and their Families report from the Canadian Association for Community Living estimated that 70 per cent of adults with intellectual disabilities are unemployed or out of the labour force, and are three times more likely than non-disabled Canadians to live in poverty.

“Training opportunities are essential in transforming an individual’s inherent talents and interests into marketable skills,” said Jobs and the Economy Minister Theresa Oswald. “Removing barriers and increasing accessibility to education is one key way to ensure Manitobans with intellectual have the opportunity to take part and further strengthen the work force.” Read More →

RRC to co-host Colleges and Institutes Canada's 2015 annual conference

May 30, 2014

Leading Change

Red River College is pleased to announce it will host the Colleges and Institutes Canada 2015 Annual Conference, an event that will afford opportunities to showcase both our institution and our city to executives and academics from across the country.

The College unveiled its plans to serve as co-host, along with Assiniboine Community College and the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology, at the organization’s recent 2014 conference in Ottawa (the last to be held under its former name, the Association of Canadian Community Colleges).

The theme of the 2015 conference is “Leading Change” — a particularly appropriate theme for RRC, and one that allows us to shine a spotlight on such innovative initiatives as our new Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, our ever-expanding applied research capabilities, our culturally-enriched approach to aboriginal education, and the transformative community programming we’ve undertaken in partnership with organizations in the North End.

“With all of the positive changes going on in the city, it wasn’t hard to entice [conference organizers] to come to the centre of Canada,” says RRC President Stephanie Forsyth, who teamed with Tourism Winnipeg to secure host city status.

“This will not only enhance Red River College’s reputation as one of Canada’s top institutes of applied learning, it will also help us to share one of the best-kept secrets in Canada — the city of Winnipeg.”

The 2015 conference is scheduled to take place May 24-26 at the RBC Convention Centre. Upwards of 1,000 delegates from colleges and polytechniques across Canada are expected to take part in the event.

Click on the image below to watch the video unveiled at this year’s conference as part of RRC’s announcement.


RRC signs new agreement benefiting Métis students in Manitoba

May 23, 2014
From left: Levinia Brown, RRC elder-in-residence; RRC President Stephanie Forsyth; MMF President David Chartrand; Joan Ledoux, Minister of Education, Louis Riel Institute.

From left: Levinia Brown, RRC elder-in-residence; RRC President Stephanie Forsyth; MMF President David Chartrand; Joan Ledoux, Minister of Education, Louis Riel Institute.

As part of its commitment to improving opportunities and outcomes for Métis people in Manitoba, Red River College has entered into a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Manitoba Metis Federation and Louis Riel Institute.

Signed this morning at RRC’s Roblin Centre, the new MOU creates a joint working group with representation from all three organizations — one that focuses on education, business and growing industry partnerships to increase economic prospects for Manitoba’s Métis populations.

In addition, a new $400,000 bursary for Métis students was announced — one made possible through matching $200,000 investments by the MMF and RRC.

“[Today] signals an extremely satisfying phase of accomplishments for Red River College,” says RRC President Stephanie Forsyth. “Driven by the mission of the College and that of our Strategic Plan, [this] announcement reflects our goal of serving the educational needs of Aboriginal students.”

“The collective efforts of those involved … will benefit Métis people in Manitoba [by] improving access to training and employment opportunities,” says David Chartrand, President of the Manitoba Metis Federation. “We applaud Red River College for their leadership and contributions towards today’s announcement.”

Duke and Duchess of Cornwall to visit RRC campuses as part of Canadian tour

May 15, 2014

UnknownIn a case of perfect timing, Red River College will wrap up the Victoria Day long weekend by getting ready to welcome actual royalty to its Exchange District and Stevenson Campuses.

On Wednesday, May 21, the College will play host to Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, as part of a four-day excursion to Canada that also includes stops in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

On Wednesday morning, the royal couple will tour RRC’s Stevenson Campus, where they’ll be greeted by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, St. Boniface MP Shelly Glover and RRC President Stephanie Forsyth, among others. The couple will arrive just in time for Aviation & Aerospace in Manitoba Day, an annual event that showcases the province’s thriving aerospace and aviation industry for the benefit of more than 700 Grade 6 students.

Later the same day, Prince Charles will join President Forsyth for a tour of RRC’s Roblin Centre, where they’ll be joined by representatives from Prince’s Charities Canada, an organization that works with existing Canadian charities on a number of core objectives.

The last time RRC hosted visiting royalty was in 2002, when Prince Philip took part in the opening of The Roblin Centre (then called the Princess Street Campus).

Visit Stephanie Forsyth’s blog for more information on the 2014 visit.

Inaugural Top Chef Award Dinner raises $42,000 for prestigious culinary internships

April 23, 2014
From left: RRC student Nicole Boudreau, Chef Takashi Murakami, and RRC student Alex Wong.

From left: Culinary Arts student Nicole Boudreau, Chef Takashi Murakami, and Culinary Arts student Alex Wong.

Fun, food and philanthropy were on the menu at last week’s inaugural Top Chef Award Dinner, where Red River College honoured a Canadian culinary icon, while helping provide educational opportunities for the next crop of industry stars.

Held April 17 at The Fort Garry Hotel, the event gave RRC a chance to celebrate the lifetime achievements of Chef Takashi Murakami, executive chef at St. Charles Golf and Country Club, and an internationally recognized cuisinier.

Widely hailed as one of the most talented chefs in Canada, Japanese-born Chef Murakami has spent the last 40 years elevating food preparation to an art form at St. Charles.

During that time, he’s also picked up an impressive array of industry awards and honours, among them a series of gold medals (and a World Championship) as a member and coach of Culinary Team Canada, a Chef of the Year designation by the Manitoba Chefs Association, membership in the Canadian Culinary Federation’s Honour Society, and a 2005 appointment as a Member of the Order of Canada.

“He has taken the art of food preparation to astounding new levels and along the way has mentored and developed thousands of graduates from RRC’s Culinary Arts program,” said RRC President Stephanie Forsyth. “It’s very hard to find a chef who hasn’t in some way benefited from Chef Takashi’s experience.” Read More →

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