College Beat: Even more questions people ask about Red Deer College

In last month’s column, I provided you with a snapshot of the questions people commonly ask about RDC. These are the types of questions that I’ve been asked by people from across the community, whether it’s students, alumni, parents, grandparents or our College partners.

With so many people interested in Red Deer College, I decided to carry on from last month, creating a “Part Two” with even more questions and my thoughts on each.

How many people work at RDC?

Red Deer College is one of the major employers in the region, with 1,415 people employed in 2016-17. This includes people working in a wide range of positions, from full-time faculty and staff to part-time to term positions. When I consider the scope of employment that’s happening at RDC or because of our College, it’s important to note that more than 2,500 individuals are working or have worked on our three major construction projects. Some of these people are RDC employees, but most work for our partners in construction, design and trades services – and most are from Central Alberta. We take our responsibility as an employer and as an opportunity for employers very seriously, because we know how these jobs positively impact individuals and families and the economy of the entire region.

When are the 2019 Canada Winter Games, and what role does RDC play?

When the community hosts the Canada Winter Games in February and March 2019, it will be the largest event ever hosted in Central Alberta – second in scope only to the Olympics. At RDC, we’re proud to partner with the 2019 Canada Winter Games Host Society, and The City of Red Deer to support this national event. RDC will have three key roles: we’ll be the Games Operations “Hub,” supporting everything from IT to entertainment, and the Athletes’ Village, hosting and housing nearly 3,600 athletes. Plus, our new Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre will host five events: short track speedskating, badminton, wheelchair basketball, figure skating and squash. I encourage you to visit the 2019 Canada Winter Games website to learn more about the Games and the opportunities for you to get involved.

Aside from attending events, can community members use RDC’s facilities?

The short answer to this question is: yes. RDC is your college, and we have a wide range of opportunities for people to benefit from our facilities. Our Library Information Common is a great example of this, as community members are welcome to use this beautiful resource facility during any hours that it’s open. And, with that, people can access the fully renovated Makerspace, now located in a bright and creative area on the second floor of the Library. Depending on your needs, RDC also has a wide range of other spaces that can be rented for everything from training and conferences to performing arts events and tournaments.

What is RDC’s Alternative Energy Initiative?

In a nutshell, this is our plan to reduce the College’s energy consumption by using sustainable and energy efficient technologies. We’re going to achieve this in a few different ways. First, we’ll mount solar panels on many of our buildings – the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, new Residence, the Alternative Energy Lab, and our existing Trades wing. We’ll also be creating a Combined Heat and Power Unit to generate electricity and to heat various parts of campus. While we’re taking these actions, we won’t lose sight of education, as our new Alternative Energy Lab will be a place for students and industry partners to learn from these technologies and to develop future alternative energy options.

These questions highlight a few of the major activities happening at the College and some of the ways that RDC supports individuals and the larger community. The coming year promises to be filled with growth and activity unlike our institution has ever seen, and I look forward to sharing that with you. Until then, I want to wish you and your families a very happy holiday season. Whatever way you choose to celebrate this season, I hope that it is a festive time that is both rejuvenating and relaxing. Happy New Year, and I look forward to connecting with you in 2018.

Joel Ward is President & CEO of Red Deer College

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