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August 19, 2008 4:31 PM

Premier McGuinty Announces $21 Million for New Conestoga Campus

KITCHENER - Before an enthusiastic audience of more than 250 business and industrial leaders, government officials, and Conestoga employees and students, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty today announced a provincial investment of $21 million to Conestoga, towards a major new campus in Cambridge directly across Highway 401 from the Doon (Kitchener) campus.

The 130-acre site will spur significant growth at Conestoga, both in terms of enrolment and in terms of programming in areas essential to economic development, such as robotics, automation, telecommunications, information technology, engineering technology, renewable energy and skilled trades.

"Today's announcement is about people having all the opportunities they need to succeed," the Premier said. "We want to ensure Ontarians get good training so they can get good jobs. We know we can count on Conestoga to play a significant role in the new economy. I want to thank everyone at Conestoga who contributes to the vigour, vitality and well-being of this wonderful institution."

By 2011, Conestoga expects to open 200,000 square feet of facilities on the site, to accommodate an additional 2,000 full-time students and increased apprenticeship activity. Eventually, there will be approximately 1,000,000 square feet of facilities needed to serve a growing student population expected to reach 8,000 full-time students.

As a highly valued educational resource in Midwestern Ontario, Conestoga serves a growing, diverse population and an ever-expanding variety of employers. In the last two years, Conestoga's full-time enrolment has risen by 16 per cent and its apprenticeship training activity by 23 per cent.

In acknowledging the provincial grant, Conestoga President John Tibbits said, "Today's announcement is important for Conestoga, but even more so for our students, our community partners and the local economy. Not only will Conestoga be able to grow in ways that provide more scope, depth and innovation in the skills education we offer, but Conestoga will also become an even more valuable contributor to businesses, industries, organizations and individuals in the community. The end result will be a growing, dynamic economy that offers many opportunities and ongoing prosperity."

Both full-time and part-time learning opportunities will increase significantly at Conestoga as the new Cambridge campus site is developed. In addition, the existing Doon, Guelph and Waterloo campuses will serve students, businesses and industries better as Conestoga creates new programming initiatives and specialties.

Also at the August 19 event were Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities John Milloy (Kitchener Centre), Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Leeanna Pendergast, MPPs Elizabeth Witmer and Ted Arnott, MPs Karen Redman, Gary Goodyear, Harold Albrecht and Andrew Telegdi, Waterloo Region Chair Ken Seiling and Mayors Doug Craig (Cambridge), Carl Zehr (Kitchener), Brenda Halloran (Waterloo), Karen Farbridge (Guelph) and Bill Strauss (Woolwich Township).

In appreciation, Conestoga presented the Premier with a print of a painting depicting the historic downtown of Cambridge. The artwork was created by Cambridge-based designer and artist Greg Pautler, a 1978 graduate of Conestoga.

Contact: Andre Beaudry, Vice-President of Development and Alumni, 519-748-5220, ext. 2235, abeaudry@conestogac.on.ca

Conestogas New Cambridge Campus

  • Conestoga is a polytechnic institute that has been rated #1 overall for nine of the last ten years on the Key Performance Indicators of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
  • Conestoga has the fastest enrolment growth rate of any Ontario college - over the last two years, full-time enrolment has risen by 16 per cent and apprenticeship activity by 23 per cent
  • Conestogas graduate employment rate has been consistently in the 91-95 per cent range over the past ten years
  • This is the most significant growth and building opportunity for Conestoga since the 1967-68 creation of the Doon campus
  • The Cambridge campus will address Conestogas need for significant growth to serve the area properly, in light of population growth, as well as economic and demographic diversification
  • The focus at the new Cambridge campus will be on education that responds to the needs of the new economy, in areas such as: robotics, automation, information technology, telecommunications, engineering technology, green technology and skilled trades
  • The 130-acre site is located across Highway 401 from the Doon campus, creating a major higher education training community to serve Waterloo Region and all of Midwestern Ontario
  • Conestogas initial goals for the Cambridge campus are:
    • Construction of approximately 200,000 square feet of advanced-technology educational facilities by 2011
    • Full-time enrolment of more than 2,000 students, plus an additional 1,000 apprentices
    • Increased capacity for part-time courses, programs and training activities
  • Conestogas long-term goals for the Cambridge campus are:
    • Construction of approximately 1,000,000 square feet of advanced-technology educational facilities
    • Full-time enrolment of 8,000 students
    • Major capacity for part-time courses, programs and training activities
    • Increased partnerships and affiliations with business, industry, sector councils and professional associations with regard to programs and facilities
    • Creation of a number of centres of academic and training excellence in areas such as:
      • Robotics and Automation
      • Electronics/Telecommunications and Information Technology
      • Civil, Construction and Architectural Engineering Technologies
      • Renewable Energy and Green Trades
  • Positive initiatives will occur at other Conestoga campuses (Doon, Guelph and Waterloo): New programming at Guelph in the transportation and motive power fields Additional apprenticeships, trades and hospitality/culinary programming at Waterloo New and more diversified programs at Doon in health sciences, community services, business and media/design
  • All campuses will have increased capacity in the area of preparatory and basic skills programming, in service to members of traditionally underrepresented groups in the community - displaced workers, unemployed youth, new immigrants and persons with disabilities
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