Governments invest $40 million in Niagara College’s Applied Health Institute

The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, and the Honourable John Milloy, Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, today announced $40 million in infrastructure funding – $20 million each – for Niagara College’s new Applied Health Institute at the Welland campus. The announcement was made at a joint federal/provincial media conference held at Brock University today, where investments totaling $1.476 billion for infrastructure projects at post-secondary institutions throughout Ontario were announced.

As part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada introduced the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, a two-year, $2-billion economic stimulus measure to support infrastructure enhancement at Canadian post-secondary institutions, including universities and community colleges. Today’s announcements were the first round of projects to qualify under the program in Ontario.

“Our government’s investment provides significant short-term economic stimulus in local communities throughout Ontario, while at the same time strengthening Canada’s long term capacity for research and innovation,” said Minister Clement. “The renewal of college and university facilities will encourage more world-class researchers to work in Canada and give them the tools they need to make further discoveries that will benefit Canadians and people around the world.”

The federal-provincial investment today totals more than $1.476 billion over two years, including $587 million in federal funding, $641.2 million in provincial funding, and $248.1 million from other funding sources, including the private sector, charitable contributions, and the universities and colleges themselves.

“The investments this partnership provides will help ensure Ontario’s colleges and university facilities have the tools they need to be global leaders in their fields and pursue world-class excellence,” said Minister Milloy. “Attracting and retaining workers who drive innovation and growth in the global knowledge economy strengthens Ontario’s position as a world leader in science and technology, for the benefit of all Canadians.”

The federal/provincial funding announced today for the new Applied Health Institute is the largest funding announcement in Niagara College’s history. The College is currently investing $48 million in new facilities in its two main campuses in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake. The construction of the Applied Health Institute greatly enhances these campus redevelopment plans, accommodating key health programs and related community health services into a new integrated facility.

“We applaud both levels of government for the investments they’ve announced today,” said Niagara College President Dan Patterson. “This is incredible news for Niagara College and the Niagara Region. It will further enhance our current $48 million campus re-development project, and it significantly strengthens our ability to deliver the highly-skilled, job-ready graduates who support healthcare in Niagara and Ontario.”

The new facility provides a permanent home for the College’s Registered Practical Nurse and Personal Support Worker programs (currently in a leased facility), and provides 100,000 sq ft of expanded space for existing applied health programs, including Therapeutic Recreation, Paramedics, Pharmacy Assistant, and Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene.

New classroom and lab space in the Applied health Institute will allow for the launch of new programs serving the health and wellness of the Niagara Region, including Occupational Therapist/Physiotherapist Assistant, Gerontology, Addictions Counseling, Mental Health Worker, Children’s Mental Health Worker and Elder Care Advocate.

The demand for Niagara College healthcare programming is high – from both healthcare employers who seek skilled workers, and by students who want to pursue careers in healthcare. Currently, almost all Niagara College healthcare programs have a waiting list. Due to this high demand, the College developed the plans for the Applied Health Institute to both consolidate and expand its healthcare facilities.

“The construction of the new Applied Health Institute is a major leap forward for Niagara College, and will truly position the college as a leader, accommodating key health programs, applied research, and community health services,” said Niagara College Vice President Academic Steve Hudson.

Extensive planning for the Applied Health Institute has already taken place. The project is in the design phase, with construction scheduled to begin in August 2009, and completion targeted for February 2011.

More information about the Knowledge Infrastructure Program can be found at www.ic.gc.ca/knowledge-infrastructure.

More information about Niagara College’s Building Futures campaign can be found at www.niagaracollege.ca

With over 7,000 full-time and 15,000 part-time students, Niagara College offers more than 90 certificate, diploma, post-graduate and degree programs at campuses in Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Falls and St. Catharines. Areas of specialization include healthcare, technology, skilled trades, hospitality and tourism, viticulture, business, community safety, and new media. The College is home to the globally recognized Niagara Culinary Institute and to Canada’s first commercial teaching winery.

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Note: Images of the Applied Health Institute are available for download at

www.niagaracollege.ca/masterplan/appliedhealth_media.htm

For more information:

Gord Hunchak

Director of Marketing & Communications

(905) 735-2211, ext. 7567

(905) 650-7820 (cell)

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