Starting this fall, Winnipeg will add yet another architecturally stunning addition to our Downtown landscape. The Red River College (RRC) Innovation Centre will officially open and offer an exciting slate of programs including full stack development, digital film and media production, data science and machine learning, communication management, Interaction design, video and motion graphics and game development.
The new programs and their possibilities were at the heart of a recent webinar that drew about 164 viewers. It was moderated by Economic Development Winnipeg (EDW) President & CEO, Dayna Spiring, featuring Dean, School of Business, Information Technology and Creative Arts, Kirk Johnson and Dean, School of Education, Arts and Sciences, Kerri Korabelnikov.
When talking about what teachers, students and industry could expect from the Innovation Centre, Kerri Korabelnikov said it would be the collision of all three groups that will drive its success.
“It’s really a centre of transformation, joint ventures and partnerships. We’re transforming projects. We’re taking ideas and we’re transforming them into things. But we are also upskilling and reskilling our students, who are really our best products. We know how important it is that labour market needs are being filled. In the end, innovation is about entrepreneurship and agile sustainable programming for this centre,” said Korabelnikov, Dean, School of Education, Arts and Sciences.
She also noted that 26 per cent of Manitoba’s workforce are immigrants and this presents an opportunity for employers. RRC has one of the largest Language Training centres in Canada. On top of that, roughly 1,300 international and newcomer students from about 80 different countries come into RRC every year with prior knowledge in a variety of industries and 70 per cent of them already hold undergraduate and graduate degrees.
“We want to link the talent pool to the gaps. How can we use their skills and talents to move into what we require within a province? We don’t have to do international hiring because we do have talent here. We know the key areas or gaps the province has are within the business finance and administration, natural and applied sciences, health occupations and education. The sectors our students have expertise in are in the same areas,” added Korbelnikov.
Kirk Johnson, Dean, School of Business, Information Technology and Creative Arts, reminded viewers that RRC has become very adept at creating new and existing programs that meet the needs of employers and students.
“The students can come right in out of high school or from the workforce, but we also can review a student’s skills—how do we meet you where you are and take you to the next level? Red River has long been a leader in recognition of prior learning. Maybe that learning came from another institution or from working at an organization. We can recognize that prior learning and we’ll help you to move with it,” says Johnson.
RRC is also developing a communication component that will be included in every program. “We really want to create confident and effective communicators who understand that successful communications require self-awareness, life-long development, strategies to manage all components of communication, including preventing and resolving ineffective communications. It’s a critical partner to technical skills,” says Korabelnikov.
It’s also a critical component Winnipeg business leaders and companies look to develop within their current and future workforce. But the there are other opportunities for industry and the community.
“If we can get our students working with you in some capacity, for you or alongside you, we want to do that. We want to really be a space that the community really feels is for them,” adds Johnson.
EDW’s President & CEO Dayna Spiring also encouraged business leaders to take a closer look at the possibilities for their companies. “It’s an open invitation from Red River College to our business community to reach out and see if those programs that will be housed in the Innovation Centre is something that will work for your business. I’m looking forward to seeing the impact the college and its students make as our province continues to grow but also how we can work together to build a city that keeps students here and companies thriving.”
You can watch the entire webinar here: