Confederation College Celebrates REACH Opening

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Confederation CollegeTHUNDER BAY – It was a celebration today at Confederation College. Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry, MPP Thunder Bay-Superior North and Bill Mauro, MPP for Thunder Bay – Atikokan, were at Confederation College in Thunder Bay today to officially open the Regional Education Alliance for Community Health (REACH) building.

This project received a Government of Canada investment of $6.23 million through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP) combined with a contribution of $15.23 million from the Ontario government through the 2009 Budget and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.

In Ontario, the Knowledge Infrastructure Program represents a total investment of $2.3 billion to improve infrastructure at postsecondary institutions. The federal government is investing $799 million in 56 KIP projects, while the Province of Ontario is providing $981 million toward 49 of those projects. Other partners are contributing an additional $569 million. Also, the Province is providing $75 million for another eight projects.

“Our Government has invested in innovation and knowledge infrastructure to set the foundation for economic prosperity,” said Gary Goodyear, the Minister of State (Science and Technology). “This project has not only created jobs for people in our community, but it also provides infrastructure that will benefit the nine campuses of Confederation College for years to come.”

“This truly is a great day for Confederation College and for the future of health care and community services in northwestern Ontario. We take pride that our government contributed over $15 million towards this world-class facility. Not only will students be able to achieve their educational goals closer to home, but the training they’ll receive here will also lead to improved health care and social services for this region in the future,” shared Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry, MPP Thunder Bay-Superior North and Bill Mauro, MPP, Thunder Bay Atikokan.

REACH is a leading centre of health and community education and training using state-of-the art technologies. This site will allow students, staff, and community members to access a variety of health and community services in an integrated multi-professional environment. REACH will build on the collective expertise of Confederation College, health sector and community service partners, and Aboriginal organizations to meet the programming needs throughout northwestern Ontario. REACH allowed for the expansion of over 130 new seats in Community and Health Services programs to support regional program delivery supported by a significant investment in technology to support the education delivery.

Confederation College’s new Health and Community Services Building has also been designated an official demonstration project by the Canadian Wood Council. Chosen for the use of large scale wood in the construction, the REACH (Regional Education Alliance for Community Health) building is an example of the use of wood in large institutional projects, not only to architecturally enhance the facility, but to provide a solid framework for the construction.

“Through the collaborative support of our provincial and federal partners, Confederation College has developed a facility that will enhance and promote excellence in health and Community Services education,” said Marilyn Gouthro, Chair of the Board of Governors, Confederation College. “This building represents a culmination of ideas and commitment from our employees, our colleagues and our community.

As part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada introduced the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, a $2-billion economic stimulus measure to maintain and improve research and training facilities at Canadian universities, colleges and CEGEPs. The program is providing economic stimulus, creating jobs, and generating the advanced technological infrastructure needed to keep Canadian institutions at the forefront of scientific advancement and ensure economic growth in the future.

The Government of Ontario is investing more than $1 billion in infrastructure at colleges and universities to modernize facilities and boost long-term research and skills training capacity. This investment is part of the government’s Open Ontario plan to help to build the most highly skilled and educated workforce in the world, giving Ontario the competitive edge in securing a strong economy for the future.

“I am extremely pleased to be actively involved in this great facility and in programming that supports the future of health and community services education in northwestern Ontario,” said Jim Madder, President of Confederation College. “REACH is definitely a significant addition to our campus network and I believe, will have a significant positive impact on the future of health care delivery.”

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