Mohawk College is joining forces with a group of colleges, institutions, polytechnics and CEGEPs from across Canada to educate a post-pandemic workforce to support a new climate-focussed economic recovery.
The group of eight climate-action leading institutions from all regions of the country have launched an initiative called Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery. The group will champion projects across Canada to support a recovery that delivers good jobs, is positive for the environment, and addresses socio-economic inequality.
Said Ron McKerlie, president of Mohawk College. “Yesterday’s Throne Speech indicated that climate action will be a cornerstone of our plan to support and create a million jobs across the country. We believe that colleges are in an ideal situation to support a sustainable economic recovery in Canada. We are working together to ensure we are ready to respond to emerging workforce training needs as soon as a post-pandemic recovery begins.”
The group formed a direct response to the 5 bold moves and 22 recommendations of the Task Force for a Resilient Recovery, an initiative by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, which recommended a $55.4 billion strategy for a green recovery in Canada that will support long-term jobs and economic growth and keep Canada competitive in the quickly-evolving global marketplace.
“In its final report, the Task Force for a Resilient Recovery emphasized the importance of training and education for building a long-term economic recovery from COVID-19,” said Richard Florizone, President & CEO of the International Institute for Sustainable Development, and Chair of the Task Force for a Resilient Recovery. “Without a skilled Canadian workforce, the jobs of the clean economy will go to other countries. Through programs like Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery, we can make sure that it’s Canadians who benefit from the jobs and growth of a cleaner, more resilient economy.”
Collectively, the institutions are committed to advancing the following goals:
• Develop, implement and scale new curriculum and research initiatives to support a resilient recovery.
• Foster resilient recovery projects that support the recommendations of the Task Force for a Resilient Recovery.
• Serve as role models for the transition to a low-carbon, resilient and circular economy through campus practices, student engagement and community engagement.
• Support provincial/territorial college-level responses to the resilient recovery.
• Continue to support truth and reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples, and champion Indigenous leadership in the resilient recovery.
Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery will meet quarterly (online) for an initial two years, providing a forum for colleges to share transferable and scalable recovery solutions from institutions across Canada. It will host a national webinar series, showcasing faculty and researchers from each member college.
Initially, Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery will be chaired by Mohawk College President Ron McKerlie and the Centre for Climate Change Management at Mohawk College will act as the coalition’s administrative support. The group has retained internationally recognized sustainability researcher and advocate David Wheeler to advise the coalition.
The initial group of colleges in Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery include:
• British Columbia Institute of Technology
• Okanagan College
• Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
• Mohawk College
• Seneca College
• Nergica, a Renewable Energy Research and Innovation College Centre
• Nova Scotia Community College
• Holland College