Investment in education to strengthen employment opportunities in Ontario is part of the provincial government’s four-pronged plan for economic improvement. Ontario’s investment in the Northern Colleges Collaborative Programming Project will help the province’s six northern colleges to work together to expand access to in-demand programs and improve student access to education.
Ontario’s economic development strategy includes:
- Investing in people’s talents and skills.
- Building new public infrastructures, including roads and transit systems.
- Creating a dynamic, supportive environment where businesses can thrive.
- Building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.
Partners in Education
The colleges involved in the Collaborative Programming Project include College Boreal, Cambrian College, Canadore College, Confederation College, Northern College and Sault College. They are designing and delivering shared programming to enhance training opportunities in eight subject areas: business, hospitality, media arts, health, community services, technology, trades and aviation. Working together, they will:
- Share and streamline resources to ensure long-term financial stability.
- Use their expertise in tech-enabled learning to provide more students with access to post-secondary education.
- Improve the quality and efficiency of administrative and service delivery such as IT, program scheduling, curriculum generation and registration functions.
- Enable their students to earn credentials by taking courses delivered by other partnering institutions.
Ontario is investing $3.6 million over three years for the project. The colleges are making an in-kind investment of $1.2 million over the same time period to support the model. In August 2014, Ontario announced an investment of $3 million through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation to help the six northern colleges market the North as a place to study and find work. Operating grants to the colleges have increased from $122 million in 2002-03 to $182 million in 2013-14.
Training for Quality Employment Opportunities
Government and educational leaders alike continue to express kudos for the Collaborative Programming Project. As noted by Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines and Chair of the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, “All Ontarians should be able to benefit from a post-secondary education. By helping Ontario’s northern colleges work together to deliver shared programming, more students will receive the training they need to compete for quality employment opportunities.”
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