THUNDER BAY, ON: Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, announced that the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) will make a $3-million investment in the Study North Initiative. Minister Gravelle made the announcement at Confederation College`s Thunder Bay campus today.
The Study North Initiative is a collaborative effort between the six publicly-funded colleges in northern Ontario; Collège Boréal, Cambrian College, Canadore College, Confederation College, Northern College and Sault College. It aims to promote study and work opportunities in northern Ontario to students in southern Ontario.
Fred Gibbons, President of Northern College, attended the announcement from Northern College Timmins Campus through videoconferencing.
“Northern Ontario Heritage Fund’s support of this initiative will not only assist in raising the profile of northern colleges and the high-caliber programs they offer but will showcase the vast opportunity our colleges and communities have to offer prospective students. Study North is about bolstering choice for learners and helping them make informed choices about where they choose to study and the careers they wish to pursue,” says Gibbons. “The collaborative spirit behind this initiative will certainly serve as a benchmark for Ontario’s post-secondary institutions.”
Studying in northern Ontario provides students with some significant benefits. Class sizes tend to be small in northern Ontario, resulting in high levels of student-teacher interaction and a strong sense of community. Northern Ontario is also ideal for recent grads, as its smaller workforce makes for less competition for high-skills jobs.
Many students in southern Ontario find themselves on waiting lists when applying for highly competitive programs. Colleges in northern Ontario have extra capacity in a variety of in-demand, high-skills programming, including engineering technology and health sciences programming. The Study North Initiative aims to inform these students that opportunities to study immediately exist in northern Ontario.
Raising awareness of the high-quality programming that colleges in the north offer is central to the Study North Initiative. Northern College, for example, offers a suite of signature programs that are exceptional by any standards. The college also offers programming unavailable anywhere else in the province, like its Environmental Technician: Water and Wastewater Systems Operations or Veterinary Technology: Wildlife Rehabilitation programs.
“Our government recognizes that northern Ontario’s colleges are essential to preparing northerners for the workforce and to responding to forecasted labour shortages in a number of sectors including the mining industry,” says Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines. “I am very pleased that the NOHFC could invest in this important initiative and I commend all the project partners for their commitment to recruiting students to the north.”
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