A new Red River College program facility could be on the horizon following this October’s provincial election.
At a press conference at RRC’s Notre Dame Campus on Sept. 8, NDP leader Greg Selinger pledged $60 million towards building a new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre at RRC if his party is re-elected.
“The NDP will help more Manitobans, regardless of where they live, receive the practical training they need to get to work in (Manitoba’s) growing economy,” said Selinger.
The proposed facility will house the carpentry, electrical, and plumbing programs, and with the Construction Sector Council forecasting that construction employment will grow by more than 20% between 2011 and 2014 – investment in trades could be increasingly important.
Stephanie Forsyth, President of Red River College welcomed the announcement.
“Red River College is proud to be a key contributor to Manitoba’s skilled trades sector,” said Forsyth. “(The investment) is part of a larger vision to ensure students have access to modern training facilities and will help us to continue to develop a highly skilled, well paid workforce in Manitoba.”
According to Colin Fast, communications coordinator at RRC, the plans for the Skilled Trades and Technology Centre are still underway.
“We’ve done some work in the last couple years looking at our facilities,” said Fast. “We were trying to identify what kind of additional capacity and upgrades were required.”
Fast noted that the existing building which houses the departments is in need of some serious work. Although there are no immediate plans in the works, some planning has taken place.
“There’s no solid plan on the table right now. Part of the money will go towards the full site plan with architects and engineers,” explained Fast. “The project’s timeline is somewhere around four to five years. Once we get the funds and the green light, work will start right away.”
Fast noted that the college feels it’s a project worth pursuing regardless of who wins the election.
“If a party other than the NDP wins, we hope they will support the project too,” said Fast.