Toronto, Sept. 24, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Seneca is joining forces with a group of colleges, institutions, polytechnics and CEGEPs from across Canada to educate a post-pandemic workforce to support a new climate-focused economic recovery.

The group of eight climate-action leading institutions from all regions of the country have launched an initiative called Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery. 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.

“Sustainability is a strategic priority at Seneca not only in our business practices and programs, but also in preparing students for the growing career opportunities in climate resilience,” said Seneca President, David Agnew. “We are delighted to be working with other postsecondary institutions and partners to identify and respond to the needs of employers in this emerging sector. The post-pandemic recovery is critical to our economy, and a recovery based on sustainability is critical to our climate.”

The group formed to take meaningful action as a direct response to the five 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 can help the Canadian economy recover by:

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

Collectively, the institutions are committed to advancing the following goals:

  • develop, implement and scale new curriculum and research initiatives to support a resilient recovery
  • foster resilient recovery projects that support the recommendations of the Task Force for a Resilient Recovery
  • serve as role models for the transition to a low-carbon, resilient and circular economy through campus practices, student engagement and community engagement
  • support provincial/territorial college-level responses to the resilient recovery
  • continue to support truth and reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples, and champion Indigenous leadership in the resilient recovery

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 (online) initially for 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. The group has retained internationally recognized sustainability researcher and advocate David Wheeler to advise the coalition.

The first group of colleges in Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery include:

  • British Columbia Institute of Technology
  • Holland College
  • Mohawk College
  • Nergica, a Renewable Energy Research and Innovation College Centre
  • Nova Scotia Community College
  • Okanagan College
  • Seneca
  • Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

About Seneca

Combining career and professional skills training with theoretical knowledge, Seneca provides a polytechnic education to 30,000 full-time and 60,000 part-time students. With campuses in Toronto, York Region and Peterborough and education partners around the world, Seneca offers degrees, graduate certificates, diplomas and certificates in more than 300 full-time, part-time and online programs, now most of them virtually. Seneca’s credentials are renowned for their quality and respected by employers. Co-op and work placements, applied research projects, entrepreneurial opportunities and the latest technology ensure that Seneca graduates are highly skilled and ready to work. Learn more about Seneca.

Caroline Grech
Seneca
416-491-5050 ext. 77948
media.relations@senecacollege.ca