Today, students in Red River College’s Pathway Program to Construction Skills provided a helping — and skilled — set of hands during a Habitat for Humanity build that doubled as their introduction to practical training.
The students are refugee newcomers to Manitoba who enrolled in the program to enhance their English skills and gain practical experience, with an eye on securing full-time employment in the construction sector once they’ve completed their training.
Many participants took up residence in Manitoba after being forced to flee their homes in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Sudan. Though some had to leave almost everything behind, they brought with them their experience in construction and the skilled trades. Now they’re hoping to put those skills to good use as they begin their new lives in Canada.
“Most of us can’t even begin to imagine moving across the world to a new place where we speak a different language, and not being able to pursue employment in a career or industry we’ve spent our lives working towards,” says Stuart Schwartz, Program Manager at RRC’s Language Training Centre. “But this is a reality for many.”
“Other students may not have previous experience, but [they] have the desire to learn. This program aims to bridge the gap and remove the language barrier by providing students with the essential language training, technical skills and experience they need to gain employment working in Manitoba’s construction sector.” Read More →
You’ve heard the phrase ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’? Well, for one day next month, the more cooks, the better.
On Tue., Nov. 7, the College’s School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts will host its first Homecoming Dinner for graduates of the Culinary Arts, Professional Baking and Patisserie, and Hospitality and Tourism Management programs.
The event will celebrate the achievements of the school’s alumni, while raising money for the Student Travel Opportunity Fund, which helps Baking and Culinary Arts students compete in national and international competitions, and provides Hospitality and Tourism Management students with opportunities to enhance their skills through travel.
Recently, the Fund allowed two Baking students to attend a four-week-long course in Germany, and six Culinary Arts students to participate in the Cook the Books competition in Toronto.
“Participating in competitions motivates students to strengthen their technical skills, learn new techniques and practice at elevated skill levels,” says Karen McDonald, Chair of Hospitality and Culinary Arts at RRC.
“Our programs are strengthened when students can participate in high-level competitions, and bring back new skills they’re eager to share in the culinary labs. Similarly, students in Hospitality and Tourism programs benefit from educational travel by experiencing local cultures.”
Read More →
Ashley Weber and Silas Meeches are no strangers to performing under pressure.
Between them, the Red River College grads have six gold and silver medals from provincial and national skills competitions under their belts. Now they’re taking their talents to the international level.
Weber and Meeches will travel to Abu Dhabi next week to compete with Team Canada in the 44th WorldSkills Competition, which will host 1,259 competitors from 58 countries and regions.
Held every two years, it’s the biggest vocational education and skills excellence event in the world based on global industry standards, and the best opportunity for competitors to demonstrate technical abilities while executing tasks they’d perform in their workplaces.
“It feels completely different,” says Meeches. “Part of it is being in a different country, but the competition is a lot more advanced. It’s longer and the rules are a lot more strict.”
The 21-year-old will be competing in the CNC Milling category, where he’s hoping to set a new record.
“The highest a Canadian has placed in my skill is seventh,” he explains. “Ultimately I want to win the gold, but placing sixth and setting a new record would be incredible.”
Weber, 20, has been passionate about car painting from the moment she got her hands on a spray paint gun in high school. She’s hoping this month’s opportunity will earn her a new credential for her resume.
“I’m aiming to receive the Medallion of Excellence,” says Weber. “It means that you’ve met or exceeded the industry standard in your trade. I feel confident that I have the most knowledge to do the best that I can in the competition, but I hope my best will earn me the medallion.” Read More →
A rush of electricity will race through Red River College’s Notre Dame Campus this winter.
For nearly two years, a team of students from the College’s Electrical Engineering Technology and Mechanical Engineering Technology programs have been meeting every Wednesday to design and build a battery-electric race car.
This April, the vehicle will make its raceway debut at the Shell Eco-Marathon in Sonoma, California, where it’ll compete against more than 1,000 student-made cars from high schools, colleges and universities across North and South America.
The RRC team’s goal? To build the car that can go the furthest distance while using the least amount of energy.
This morning, students offered a sneak peek of their work to RRC President Paul Vogt, while officially announcing the car’s name: SpaRRCky.
“This is one of the best examples of applied learning,” says Vogt. “When you combine industry-led training with highly motivated students and faculty expertise, you can achieve great things. I am very proud that our College is a place where we can turn vision into reality, and I can’t wait to see how our racer performs in California.”
Students can enter the competition in one of two vehicle categories: Prototype, which challenges teams to enter futuristic-looking vehicles with maximized efficiency, or UrbanConcept, which focuses on practical road designs.
For both categories, teams can use any of seven official energy sources, including conventional fuels such as gasoline and diesel, or alternative fuels such as hydrogen, ethanol, gas-to-liquid (GTL), compressed natural gas (CNG), and battery electric technologies. Read More →
Red River College will play host to an exhibition from Artbeat Studio this week, providing staff and students with opportunities to see and understand the realities of mental illness.
Running Tue., Oct. 3 at the Notre Dame Campus, and Thu., Oct. 5, at the Roblin Centre downtown, the exhibit is one of several events planned to mark Mental Illness Awareness Week, the aim of which is to raise awareness of — and reduce the stigma surrounding — mental health-related issues.
“As a post-secondary institution focused on the health and well-being of staff and students, the College believes Mental Illness Awareness Week is an important initiative to be engaged in,” says Breanna Sawatzky, Mental Health Coordinator at RRC.
“Our priority is to create opportunities for the entire College community to learn more about mental health through education, and to foster a safe, responsive and supportive environment in which to talk about mental illness and how it impacts those we study and work with.”
Other events taking place this week include a presentation on strategies for coping with anxiety (delivered by the Anxiety Disorders Association of Manitoba), and another on schizophrenia and psychosis, delivered by the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society.
This year’s programming expands on previous efforts to raise awareness of the many community supports available to staff and students, among them Artbeat Studio, a peer-directed, recovery-oriented program providing studio space and mentorship to artists living with mental illnesses. Read More →
One potato, two potato, three potato, four — that and a few hundred pounds more were dug up from Red River College’s community garden today and donated to Winnipeg Harvest in support of the corporate Grow-A-Row challenge.
Staff and students at the College have spent all summer tending to the spuds (and carrots and onions), which will now go to feed families in need.
“Once again, Red River College is proud to support Winnipeg Harvest, and this year we are pleased to donate nearly 3,000 pounds of vegetables from our garden to Winnipeg families,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.
“I want to thank the staff and students who volunteer their time to tend to the garden, and our grounds and Sustainability teams who champion this community initiative within the College. I’d also like to congratulate the Winnipeg Airports Authority and the corporate partners [including Pegasus Publications] who have taken part in this important project to ensure that no one in our community goes hungry.”
Dating back several years, RRC’s involvement with Grow-A-Row is currently championed by Gord McLeod, pavement and grounds supervisor, and Sara MacArthur, director of Sustainability. The College’s garden — a 30’ x 60’ plot of land — has become a community initiative encouraging involvement from both staff and students, who tend and harvest it on a volunteer basis.
The food grown in the garden supports not only the greater community, but also the College’s food bank, organized by the RRC Students’ Association.
The Grow-A-Row initiative, meanwhile, first blossomed back in 1986, when Winnipeg residents Ron and Eunice O’Donovan produced more potatoes in their backyard garden than they could consume. Their donations were so well received by Winnipeg Harvest that the couple encouraged friends and neighbours to also donate surplus produce.
Since then, Grow-A-Row has yielded more than 3.7 million of pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Red River College is now accepting applications for its new Nurse Prescriber program, which will prepare nurses for advanced career opportunities while helping practicing registered nurses meet new provincially mandated requirements.
Last month, the province announced it would bring the registered nursing profession into the Regulated Health Profession Act (RHPA) effective May 31, 2018. It will also create a new designation – the Registered Nurse Authorized Prescriber, or RN (AP) — the goal of which is to increase access to safe and effective health care in Manitoba.
RRC’s new advanced certificate program meets the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba’s educational requirement for the RN (AP) role as set out in legislation. An RN (AP) will have the competencies and authority to prescribe certain medications, and to order screening and diagnostic tests in a defined area of practice.
“Red River College had to move quickly to help nurses and their employers adapt to the new requirements of provincial legislation, particularly those RNs who are currently working as prescribers and will now need to meet the new requirements,” says Christine Watson, RRC’s Vice-President, Academic.
“Our Nursing department worked closely with the province, Manitoba nurses, the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba, and health-care facilities to have this new program in place for the current academic year, and well in advance of the changes coming into effect. I want to commend our Nursing department for its responsiveness and for its leadership in ensuring Manitoba nurses have the training options they need in order to meet the new requirements.” Read More →
Mayor Brian Bowman and Red River College President Paul Vogt joined students from RRC’s Professional Baking and Patisserie program this morning to mark the five-year anniversary of the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute with a friendly pretzel-making bake-off.
The two were assisted by Suzanne Gessler, proud RRC graduate and owner of The Pennyloaf Bakery, a small-batch artisanal shop on Corydon. Gessler coached Bowman and Vogt while sharing her experiences as a baker and business owner — one who set aside her career as a civil servant to attend RRC’s Exchange District culinary school.
Gessler is one of more than 600 graduates who’ve passed through the doors of PGI since it became the new home to RRC’s School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts in 2012.
“Today we celebrate not only the tremendous impact the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute has had on education in our city, but also the positive impact of the College’s expansion into the Exchange District,” says Vogt.
“Restoring heritage buildings and bringing thousands of students and staff to the area has sparked new economic activity and helped revitalize this iconic community.”
Before its restoration, PGI was home to the Union Bank Tower, Winnipeg’s first and oldest skyscraper — and at one time, the tallest building in Canada. Today, the LEED Gold-certified building houses RRC’s culinary, hospitality and baking programs, as well as the College’s first-ever student residence, which is running at full capacity this year.
PGI is a key component of RRC’s Exchange District Campus, which also includes the nearby Roblin Centre on Princess Street. The campus will soon undergo a massive expansion with the construction of a 100,000-square foot Innovation Centre. Fundraising efforts supporting the new state-of-the-art facility are now underway.
“Red River College continues to be a strong anchor and foundation supporting the growth and revitalization of our downtown and the Exchange District,” says Bowman. “It’s great to celebrate the five-year anniversary of the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, a building that continues to help foster round-the-clock activity, and it’s great to see people increasingly recognizing the Exchange as a place to visit, live and spend money.” Read More →
What began as an English language training partnership 30 years ago has grown into an opportunity for students in Northern China’s industrial centre to harness advanced skills in three top industries.
This week, delegates from the Shenyang Institute of Engineering (SIE) are visiting Red River College to continue growing that relationship, and to tour the Exchange District Campus and the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute. The delegates were greeted at the Notre Dame Campus Monday morning by RRC President Paul Vogt.
The relationship between the two institutions began in 1987, when RRC and SIE exchanged staff and faculty to offer English language training in Northern China.
Since 2010, students in Shenyang have been able to enrol in joint degree programs for Electrical Engineering Technology, Power Engineering Technology, and Hospitality and Tourism Management. These students have the option of completing the three-year programs entirely in Shenyang — with curriculum provided by RRC — or they can complete their first two years of study in China and travel to Winnipeg for the final year.
The partnership has grown steadily since its early days, with more than 1,000 Chinese students now enrolled for the 2017/2018 academic year.
“It’s connections like this that put Red River College, and Winnipeg, on the map as a hub for the engineering and hospitality industries,” says Vogt. “The hands-on learning students receive is crucial to their success and we’re happy to be able share that with our partners in Shenyang.” Read More →
A pair of Red River College chefs will go head-to-head against some of the culinary community’s best this weekend, serving up on-the-fly creations while raising money for a worthy cause.
Representing RRC’s Food Services department, Claire Snowball and Jon Royal are among eight teams of competitors taking part in Kitchen Kumite: Clash of Pans, a culinary battle of innovation, passion and speed being held to benefit CancerCare Manitoba.
The Iron Chef-style event takes place at the Kitchen Sync on Donald Street, where chefs will attempt to create the best dish using different surprise ingredients from each competition. The quarter-finals take place this Sun., Sept. 24, while the semi-finals and finals will be held Sun., Oct. 1.
As is often the case in local competitions of these kind, Snowball (shown above) and Royal will be competing against a number of fellow RRC graduates, including Paul Eccles (Clementine), Mike Robins (Sous Sol), Jackie Hildebrand and Alex Poitras (Hy’s Steakhouse), Jeremy Senaris (MasterChef Canada runner-up), Mark Sobervinas (Fruit by the Slice), Matty Neufeld (Pine Ridge Hollow), and Stephen Strecker (ERA Bistro).
The event is the brainchild of local chef Allan Pineda (Baon Craft Lumpia, Baon Manila Nights), also a Culinary Arts grad from 2006.