Conestoga news

May 26, 2009 8:29 AM

Conestoga Receives Major Funding Support

Conestoga Receives over $72 million from Federal and Provincial Governments

Conestoga Receives Major Funding Support from Knowledge Infrastructure Program.

The Honourable Dr. Gary Goodyear, 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 totals $38.1 million and the provincial commitment equals $34.3 million and includes $24.3 million previously announced and an additional $10 million in new funding. These funds are in addition to the $8.1 million recently announced funding commitment by Waterloo Region.

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 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. The Waterloo campus is already noted for excellence in education related to 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, a centre for Alternative Fuels Technologies will be established in order 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 areas of specialized motor coach passenger vehicles (urban and inter-city transit, paratransit), small engine vehicles (motorcycles, seasonal recreational vehicles, water craft), and heavy equipment (excavators, bulldozers, loaders, backhoes) will all be made possible through this funding announcement.

Conestoga President John Tibbits states that within seven years, Conestoga expects to have an additional 4,000 full-time post-secondary students, an additional 2,000 apprenticeship students, and more than 100 new programs, all 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."

"This is a great example of collaboration and partnership between the municipal, regional, provincial, and federal levels of government,” André Beaudry, Vice President of Development and Alumni commented. “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 which we can all take pride in."

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).