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Mohawk College joins group aiming to help educate a post-COVID-19 workforce



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Mohawk College joins group aiming to help educate a post-COVID-19 workforce

Mohawk College announced it’s joining forces with a group of institutions from across Canada to educate a post-pandemic workforce.

The efforts are in support of a “new climate-focused economic recovery”.

Mohawk College — along with British Columbia Institute of Technology, Okanagan College, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Seneca College, Nergica, Nova Scotia Community College, and Holland College — launched an initiative called Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery.

According to an official media release from Mohawk College, the group will champion projects across Canada to support a recovery that delivers good jobs, is positive for the environment, and addresses socio-economic inequality.

“Mohawk College has aligned itself with institutional environmental leaders across the country to share resources and best practices in order to educate and train students for the climate-resilient jobs of the future,” said Ron McKerlie, president of Mohawk College.

“[The Canadian Government]’s Throne Speech indicated that climate action will be a cornerstone of our plan to support and create a million jobs across the country. We believe that colleges are in an ideal situation to support a sustainable economic recovery in Canada. We are working together to ensure we are ready to respond to emerging workforce training needs as soon as a post-pandemic recovery begins.”

The group says it formed to take meaningful action as a direct response to the 5 bold moves and 22 recommendations of the Task Force for a Resilient Recovery, which recommended a $55.4 billion strategy for a green recovery in Canada that will support long-term jobs and economic growth and keep Canada competitive in the quickly-evolving global marketplace.

“In its final report, the Task Force for a Resilient Recovery emphasized the importance of training and education for building a long-term economic recovery from COVID-19,” said Richard Florizone, President & CEO of the International Institute for Sustainable Development, and Chair of the Task Force for a Resilient Recovery.

“Without a skilled Canadian workforce, the jobs of the clean economy will go to other countries. Through programs like Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery, we can make sure that it’s Canadians who benefit from the jobs and growth of a cleaner, more resilient economy.”

Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery is aimed at helping the Canadian economy rebuild by:

  • rapidly training workers to meet skills gaps for a climate-resilient economy;
  • reviving and developing Canadian businesses through applied research solutions; and
  • serving as demonstration sites, living labs, for climate change solutions.

Supporting its commitment to student engagement, Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery has partnered with Student Energy, a global youth-led organization, empowering young people to accelerate the sustainable energy transition. Through Student Energy’s involvement, students will offer feedback and advice to help shape the initiatives of the college partners.

“Young people across the country are eager to participate in the transition to a low carbon, resilient, and equitable economy, and it is more important than ever that they are supported with the skills, knowledge, and networks they need to take part in the climate-resilient workforce,” said Student Energy Executive Director Meredith Adler.

“Student Energy is excited to join forces with the Canadian Colleges for Resilient Recovery to provide tangible delivery skills training and opportunities for young people studying at colleges across Canada to be part of leading the sustainable energy transition.”

Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery will meet quarterly for an initial two years, providing a forum for colleges to share transferable and scalable recovery solutions from institutions across Canada. It will host a national webinar series, showcasing faculty and researchers from each member college.

Initially, Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery will be chaired by Mohawk College President Ron McKerlie and the Centre for Climate Change Management at Mohawk College will act as the coalition’s administrative support. The group has retained internationally recognized sustainability researcher and advocate David Wheeler to advise the coalition.

Wheeler is the co-founder of the Academy for Sustainable Innovation.

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