What's New at BC Colleges November 2013

Message from Jim Reed – President, BC Colleges

Welcome to the November edition of “What’s New at BC Colleges” and greetings from the BC Business Summit 2013: Building Prosperity through a Competitive Economy in Vancouver, BC. The event is a terrific opportunity for business and industry, government and post-secondary leaders to come together and discuss what is needed to ensure BC prospers in the coming years.

As you no doubt have heard, more than 1 million job openings are predicted in BC by 2020. The largest percentage of these openings, 42 per cent, will require college education or trades certification. In order to meet this demand, colleges need to be at the table with business, industry, government and communities to ensure we are graduating students with the job-ready education and skills to meet the growing demand in BC. We can't do this alone; a collaborative effort is needed to keep BC ahead of the demand curve and to manage the skills gap. Angus Graeme, President of Selkirk College and Chair of BC Colleges highlights the importance of this collaboration, "Our colleges are working closely with local businesses and industries to create programming that aligns with the labour force demand and ensures a workforce educated with the right skills, close to home."  Below are a few specific examples of collaboration in action between colleges and industry:

The skills gap impacts all areas of our province and our colleges are uniquely positioned to meet the regional demand. Our consortium represents 11 member colleges with more than 60 campuses and learning centres throughout BC. Here with me today at the BCBC Summit are college presidents and leaders from every corner of the province. This group is committed to working with industry and communities to tackle regional labour shortages.

Kathy Kinloch, President of Vancouver Community College, just participated in a panel focused on People Powered Prosperity: Skills Training and Human Capital where she spoke about the need for a skilled workforce and how BC's colleges can help deliver the human capital needed in BC. According to Kinloch, "Leaders in the post-secondary sector understand that effective programming cannot be delivered in isolation. As we position to meet the needs of the province through the development of an advanced skills workforce, we have an opportunity to work together within the sector and with the business community to collaborate on a systems approach that will better prepare us to meet the needs of employers, and B.C's growing economy."

Read on to learn more about the accolades, projects, collaborations and announcements from our 11 member colleges during the past month. For a full list of this month's news, please check out  "In the News" on the BC Colleges’ website.  As always, I welcome your feedback, you can reach me by e-mail.


Jim Reed

Vancouver Community College Students Win Big BC Challenge
Vancouver Community College Media Release, November 8, 2013
Vancouver Community College is all about real world training and tackling real world problems. So when it comes to tough questions facing B.C.'s burgeoning travel and tourism industry, VCC hospitality students are ready for the challenge. And it shows. Read more.

College of the Rockies Chemistry Students Benefit from Partnership
College of the Rockies Media Release, November 07, 2013
College of the Rockies chemistry students got a chance to use technology to complete a recent experiment thanks, in part, to Thompson Rivers University (TRU) and the BC Integrated Laboratory Network (BC-ILN). Read more.

Selkirk College President Brings Message to National Stage
Selkirk College Media Release, November 7, 2013
In an effort to take action on the skills gap that exists in Canada, Selkirk College President Angus Graeme attended the National Skills Summit in Ottawa where he had the opportunity to meet with business, industry and political leaders during a two-day event that shed light on the challenges and opportunities ahead. Read more.

Douglas College Sport Science Grad Applies His Knowledge in Zambia
Douglas College Media Release, November 7, 2013
Bruce Biro knows what it’s like to make a difference in people’s lives. A Sport Science graduate from Douglas College, Bruce put the skills and knowledge he acquired in the classroom to good use on a trip to Zambia in early 2013. While there as part of the College’s Zambia Global Leadership Program, he was tasked with showing a group of young athletes how to deal with sports injuries. Read more.

Okanagan College Foundation Hands Out Thousands of Dollars to Vernon Students
Okanagan College Media Release, November 6, 2013
Dozens of Okanagan College students attending the Vernon campus will have smiles on their faces and more money in their pockets this week when awards totaling $41,000 are handed out from the Okanagan College Foundation. Thirty-five students will be receiving 58 awards at the annual Awards Reception. Read more.

Ridley Terminals Donates Machinery to Northwest Community College Heavy Duty Mechanic Program
Northwest Community College Media Release, November 5, 2013
Ridley Terminals Inc. donated a number of pieces of industrial heavy equipment from its Prince Rupert operations to Northwest Community College (NWCC) for practical use in trades training. Read more.

College of New Caledonia Hosts Second “Start-Up Weekend” in Prince George
College of New Caledonia Media release, November 4, 2013
Local students and budding entrepreneurs will have a fantastic opportunity to learn and develop their ideas at the 2nd Start-Up Weekend hosted at CNC. The event, from Nov. 15-17, is a chance for students and professionals to practice three skills essential to successful participation in the 21st century economy: innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration.  Read more.

History in the Making – Aircraft Maintenance Engineering at Northern Lights College
Northern Lights College Media Release, November 4, 2013
A diverse fleet of aircraft and a 26,000 square foot hangar are just two reasons that aspiring and current aircraft maintenance engineers look to Northern Lights College for their training. An aircraft maintenance engineer is vital to the aerospace industry and is responsible for the certification of an aircraft after maintenance, inspection, repair or modification. Read more.

North Island College Health Care Program Sparks Local Interest on Hornby and Denman
North Island College Media Release, October 31, 2013
When North Island College announced it was bringing its Health Care Assistant program to Hornby and Denman Islands this November, Leah Schiml didn’t miss a beat. “I jumped at the chance,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity for smaller communities of Hornby and Denman to take advantage of a program coming to us. I wanted to support that.” Read more.

Langara Journalism Alumni Scoop Five Webbys
Langara College Media Release, October 31, 2013
Langara students and alumni joined the top journalists in the province at the 2013 Jack Webster Foundation Awards last night. Five Langara Journalism alumni and one current student were honoured for their remarkable journalistic achievements. Read more.

Camosun receives close to $800,000 for health and human service programs
Camosun College Media Release, October 11, 2013
The Honourable Amrik Virk, Minister of Advanced Education, was on campus today to announce close to $800,000 for Camosun for additional student spaces in the college’s popular Health Care Assistant and Mental Health and Addictions programs. Read more.

BC Colleges is a consortium representing BC’s 11 public, community colleges serving over 160,000 students annually with campuses in more than 60 communities throughout British Columbia. BC’s colleges offer a comprehensive range of programs from university studies and baccalaureate degrees to career, technical and trades education. All of BC’s colleges offer programs that are designed to be accessible, affordable and responsive to the evolving needs of BC communities and industry. For more information, visit our website.