Ottawa, January 26, 2009 — Statement from James Knight, President and CEO of the Association Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) following the announcement this morning of a new federal college and university infrastructure fund.
“The announcement today by Transport, Infrastructure and Communities minister John Baird of a $ 2 billion fund for construction, repair and upgrade of colleges and universities is good news for students, for colleges and for Canada.
With campuses in 1,000 rural and urban communities, Canada’s colleges are rooted in their local economies, responding quickly to new technologies, opportunities and business needs. As evidence of this, more than 90 per cent of college graduates obtain employment in their field within six months of graduating, even in today’s slowing economy.
Unfortunately, many of our colleges are also operating at capacity. Wait lists for programs can be years long, with qualified applicants far outnumbering available spaces. Equipment shortages and deferred building maintenance characterize the system.
As our country faces a crisis in advanced skills that is hurting its long term global competitiveness and productivity, Canada’s most important skills trainers are forced to turn students away.
Our colleges badly need an infusion of new capital to help them expand and upgrade their infrastructure and acquire leading-edge technology. Today’s announcement does that.
Investing in and expanding college capacity will create thousands of jobs today and support training for jobs tomorrow. And it will support the economic recovery by building a more abundant talent pool for employers.
We look forward to learning the details of this program tomorrow.”
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For more information:
Manager of Communications
Association of Canadian Community Colleges
(613) 746-2222 ext. 3123