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April 7, 2017 2:09 PM

Ontario marks milestone anniversary for colleges

The Honourable Kathryn McGarry, MPP for Cambridge and Ontario's Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, visited Conestoga’s Doon campus on Friday, April 7 accompanied by Kitchener Centre MPP Daiene Vernile to announce a $1.8 million investment from the province in recognition of the 50th anniversary of Ontario’s public college system.

Ontario has declared April 3 to 9, 2017 as Colleges Week and is making a total investment of $50 million in Ontario’s 24 publicly assisted colleges to enhance the student experience.

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MPP Kathryn McGarry visited Conestoga’s Doon campus on April 7 to announce a $1.8 million investment from the province in recognition of the 50th anniversary of Ontario’s public college system. L - R: student Lorena Suarez-Lopez; Peter Benninger, chair of Conestoga's Board of Governors; MPP Kathryn McGarry; President John Tibbits; MPP Daiene Vernile; Barbara Kelly, vice-president, Academic Administration.

“Conestoga College has a well-earned reputation for graduates with the skills, savvy and enthusiasm to build up Ontario’s future, McGarry said. “I’m a nurse who trained in the Ontario college system, so I’m always pleased to support students with the technology they need to become our future community and business leaders.”

Conestoga will use the funding to invest in instructional technology, equipment and furnishings for the major expansion project recently launched at the college’s Waterloo campus. The project includes the development of a new Culinary Institute, increased capacity for the delivery of IT and related programming to fuel the local talent pipeline, and an access hub that will provide services for new Canadians and others across our community as they transition towards successful careers.

“For the last 50 years, Conestoga and Ontario’s other public colleges have advanced prosperity across the communities we serve while supporting individuals in their efforts to build successful futures for themselves and their families,” said Conestoga President John Tibbits. “We appreciate this contribution by the province as a commemoration of our past achievements and an investment in our future.”

Lorena Suarez-Lopez, a first-year student in Conestoga’s Business Administration-Management program, is a native of Venezuela who pursued studies in both Engineering and Graphic Design before coming to Canada. In her remarks, she expressed thanks to Conestoga and to the Government of Ontario for the supports they provide to help students achieve success.

“Students face many challenges in pursuing post-secondary education,” Suarez-Lopez said. “”We appreciate everything the government is doing to support our learning by investing in our colleges and helping keep our programs strong.”

The Ontario college system was established in 1967 to provide a new category of post-secondary institution focused on vocational, technical and general education to provide students with the skills required to serve workforce needs. Since that time, Ontario’s public colleges have produced more than 2 million graduates.

For more information, visit amazing50.ca

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