Conestoga news

May 26, 2009 10:29 AM

Two Major Funding Announcements

Conestoga Receives over $72 million from Federal and Provincial Governments

Conestoga has recently had two large funding announcements to enhance the education and growth of Conestoga.

On May 25th the Honourable Gary Goodyear, federal Minister of State for Science and Technology, and

Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Leeanna Pendergast jointly announced major infrastructure funding for Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. This funding will result in Conestoga taking major steps forward to enhance its capacity to deliver applied learning. The total commitment announced by the two levels of government is in excess of $72 million.

The federal commitment is $38.1 million, and the provincial commitment equals $34.3 million, including $24.3 million previously announced, plus an additional $10 million in new funding. These are in addition to a recently announced $8.1 million in funding from the Region of Waterloo.

The Knowledge Infrastructure Program is a two-year, $2 billion investment to enhance infrastructure at post-secondary institutions across Canada.

"Our aim is to create a competitive advantage for Canada based on excellence in science and technology," Minister Goodyear told a gathering of more than 200 educational and community leaders at Conestoga in Kitchener on the morning of May 25. "The strategic investments we are making are an important part of our economic future."

In announcing the additional provincial funds, Ms. Pendergast cited Ontario's multi-billion commitment to higher education through the provincial government’s Reaching Higher Plan. "These initiatives and investments are about building a better future for students and for all of us," she said.

Conestoga will pursue projects at a new campus in Cambridge, as well as at existing campuses in Waterloo and Guelph.

The Cambridge initiatives will see a major enhancement to the School of Engineering and Information Technology, both in terms of increased enrolment and significant new programming. The new site will also feature the Institute of Food Processing Technologies, a partnership being undertaken with the Alliance of Ontario Food Processors.

A similar centre of excellence, the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Skills Training Centre, will be created in Waterloo in partnership with the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute. This important addition furthers the reputation of Waterloo campus as a site noted for excellence in education related to the skilled trades. Also, Conestoga will undertake yet another partnership with industry, in this case with the Ontario Industrial Roofing Contractors Association, to establish the Roofing Skills Training Centre.

At the Guelph campus, Conestoga will establish a Centre for Alternative Fuel Technologies to train technicians and technologists in the repair and maintenance of alternative fuel vehicles, including hybrids, natural gas-powered vehicles, clean diesel and electric vehicles. Training in the area of specialized motor coach passenger vehicles (urban and inter-city transit and paratransit), small engine vehicles (motorcycles, seasonal recreation vehicles, water craft) and heavy equipment (excavators, bulldozers, loaders, backhoes) will also result from this funding announcement.

Conestoga President John Tibbits states that within seven years, Conestoga expects to have an additional 4,000 full-time students, an additional 2,000 apprenticeship students and more than 100 new programs of instruction, to meet regional economic needs and create new opportunities for young people, new Canadians and those seeking retraining for new careers.

"This is a great day for Conestoga and for the region," President Tibbits said at the announcement event. "Today marks one of the most important announcements in the history of Conestoga. We will be able to expand and support the growth of this dynamic region and broaden our offerings in applied learning and research. This next step forward will confirm our national standing as a leading polytechnic institute."

Andre Beaudry, Conestoga's Vice-President of Development and Alumni, commented, "This is a great example of collaboration and partnership between the municipal, regional, provincial and federal levels of government. This community has a tradition of creating opportunity out of adversity, and the collaborative effort demonstrated by all of our elected officials will create both immediate and long-term benefits for this community that we can take pride in."

On June 12th it was announced that Conestoga would receive more funding from the Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP) which will result in a major step forward in the breadth, depth and diversity of health sciences education at Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.

Conestoga will receive more than $13 million in KIP funding -- $5.858 million from the federal government and $7.158 million from Ontario - to proceed with expansion of its School of Health and Life Sciences at the Doon campus in Kitchener.

Earlier this spring, the Region of Waterloo expressed support for the Conestoga proposal by granting more than $8 million towards the project.

Making the announcement at the June 12 event at the Doon campus were Cambridge MP Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology, and Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Leeanna Pendergast. Also addressing the assembly were Ken Seiling, Chair of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, and President John Tibbits.

The announced funds will go towards an expansion of 75,000 sq. ft. and renovation of an additional 25,000 sq. ft. to increase enrolment in the School from the current 1,400 to a total of 2,800 by academic year 2014-2015.

The focus will be on applied learning and research associated with informatics (the application of information technology to health services and operations); nursing and health sciences; new programming in fields such as restorative, alternative and complementary health care; and life science education.

Among the new facilities will be a Centre for Health Informatics, a Health and Wellness Centre (to be developed in co-operation with Conestoga's student association), four additional simulation labs to enhance experiential and applied learning, and upgraded smart classrooms that feature multimedia and interactive learning capabilities.

Conestoga will also develop new and collaborative programming, some in co-operation with the University of Waterloo’s downtown Kitchener health education centre. Conestoga also expects to develop new pathways leading to success for internationally educated medical and health care professionals.

Also planned at Doon is establishment of a Waterloo Region Emergency Medical Services (WREMS) station - a self-contained facility allowing for excellent training opportunities for Conestoga’s paramedic and firefighter programs.

"For the community, this funding marks an important and extremely valuable investment," says President Tibbits. "Conestoga has a long record of achievement and excellence in health care education. As we develop in this area, as we move into new programming and new technologies, we will create not only more and better educated health care professionals, but also add value to the region in terms of the overall health and well-being of citizens, workplaces, and our own students and employees."

The Knowledge Infrastructure Program is a two-year, $2 billion investment to enhance infrastructure at post-secondary institutions across Canada.


A backgrounder is attached.

CONTACT: Andre Beaudry, Vice-President, Development and Alumni, 519-748-3543,

conestoga logo

Knowledge Infrastructure Program

Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning

Cambridge Campus

School of Engineering and Information Technology (shared footprint with the Institute for Food Processing Technologies)
  • 200,000 sq. ft.
  • Initial enrolment growth of 2,500 post-secondary students and 1,300 apprentices
  • Focus on technologies associated with advanced manufacturing, robotics, process automation, advanced welding technologies, transportation, renewable energy, telecommunications, and information technology

Institute for Food Processing Technologies

  • 60,000 sq. ft.
  • Enrolment of 500 full-time and 300 apprenticeship students
  • Partnership with Alliance of Ontario Food Processors
  • Advanced skills training in areas such as food safety, process automation, industrial electrical systems, refrigeration technologies, plant management/supervision
  • Will address future critical shortage of skilled workers
  • Recession-resistant industry that offers opportunities to workers seeking new careers, as well as to new Canadians with a food-processing background
  • Will be the only food-processing training centre of its kind in Ontario

Waterloo Campus

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Skills Training Centre
  • 10,000 sq. ft.
  • Partnership with the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute
  • Waterloo campus is already a centre of excellence for high-level construction trades skills training
  • Vital part of residential and commercial construction move to green technologies and systems
  • Growing field with a need for skilled technicians and a future labour shortage
  • Skills programming (diplomas, certificates, apprenticeships) in air conditioning, facilities maintenance, and heating

Roofing Skills Training Centre

  • 12,000 sq. ft.
  • Partnership with Ontario Industrial Roofing Contractors Association
  • Full-time and apprenticeship educational programs, developed in conjunction with the industry
  • Focus on emerging roofing technologies, construction best practices, and new materials
  • Will be Ontario’s most advanced roofing skills training facility

Guelph Campus

Expansion of the Motive Power Skills Training Centre
  • Conversion of 25,000 sq. ft. of space to motive power education
  • Specialized training for technicians and technologists as related to alternative fuel vehicles (hybrids, electric vehicles, clean diesel, natural gas vehicles), motor coach passenger vehicles (urban and inter-city transit, para-transit), small engine vehicles (motorcycles, seasonal recreational vehicles, water craft), heavy equipment (excavators, bulldozers, loaders, backhoes).