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College of the North Atlantic establishing Centres of Excellence for Heavy Equipment Industrial Trades, and Media Arts Programs

Posted Friday, May 22, 2015

In an effort to better meet the demands of students and industry, College of the North Atlantic (CNA) will be establishing a Centre of Excellence for Heavy Equipment Industrial Trades at its Bay St. George campus on the province's west coast, and a Centre of Excellence for its Media Arts programs at the Prince Philip Drive campus in St. John's.
 
The college will expand opportunities for training within the heavy equipment industrial trades programs this coming September, while also ensuring the availably of graduates from several media arts programs to the industries that need them.
 
"We have experienced significant growth and demand for expanded industrial trades programs from industry, and tremendous demand from students for the training," said Ann Marie Vaughan, CNA's President and CEO. "Our ability to provide a qualified workforce for the industries in this province is dependent on our ability to produce graduates. The establishment of this Centre of Excellence at Bay St. George will allow us to achieve our mandate and graduate many more apprentices than we could under the existing training model.
 
"Current job vacancy analysis also indicates that employment opportunities consistently remain within the heavy equipment industrial trades," said Ms. Vaughan. "This will enable the college to be as responsive as possible to this growth area." 
 
The establishment of a Centre of Excellence for Heavy Equipment Industrial Trades will mean an increase in training opportunities for about 250 more students annually at the Bay St. George campus within the Heavy Equipment Industrial Trades programs.  These programs include:  Mobile Crane Operator, Heavy Equipment Operator, Heavy Duty Equipment Technician/Truck and Transport Mechanic, and Commercial Driver/Class 3 Driver. 
 
The Bay St. George campus is an ideal setting for Heavy Equipment Industrial Trades programs with a comprehensive heavy equipment field site supporting the Heavy Equipment Operator, Commercial Driver, and Mobile Crane programs.  The two square kilometre, multi-elevation site contains roadways, areas for excavation and construction, a commercial driver rally area, and maintenance support facilities. This site allows the students to obtain required seat time in a real-life setting.
In addition, the college will be creating a Centre of Excellence in Media Arts programming at the Prince Philip Drive (PPD) campus in St. John's. This will involve the clustering of Media Arts programs, some of which are currently in Bay St. George, at the St. John's PPD campus. Enrollment in the media arts programs has been in decline during the last number of years and feedback from students and industry indicates the programs will have expanded opportunities for experiential learning in the province's capital. These program offerings include: Music Industry and Performance, Sound Recording and Production, Video Game Art and Design, and Journalism, as well as Graphic Design and Graphic Communications.
 
"These Applied Arts programs have been very well recognized by industry in the recent past and students have met with considerable success.  Just this year, several students were recognized with nine East Coast Music Award nominations," said President Vaughan. "This shift will allow students in these high quality programs to make industry connections, and to be hands-on and practice what they are learning in a larger urban centre."
 
Industry response to the relocation of the media arts offerings has been positive.
 
"MusicNL has had the great pleasure of working with a few of the educators at College of the North Atlantic, and they have been very kind to MusicNL and supportive of our programs and initiatives," said Bonnie Fredau, Executive Director of MusicNL. "The programs this school has to offer show a great deal of diversity in the music industry. The opportunity to work more collaboratively with the faculty and students within the Music Industry and Performance program is exciting to hear. It will offer a great deal of opportunity for the students entering the program. MusicNL week is being held in St. John's this year from October 12-18, so their timing is amazing."
 
"The upcoming changes to the college's Video Game Design program are both incredibly exciting and quite welcome," said Colin Walsh, CEO and Founder at Celsius Game Studios in St. John's. "I feel that this program change, along with the recently announced Digital Media Tax Credit, are going to contribute greatly to a very bright future for the video game industry in Newfoundland and Labrador."
 
The programming changes are scheduled to begin in September of this year. 
 

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Media Contact:
 
Roger Hulan
Communications Specialist
College of the North Atlantic
(709) 643-7938
roger.hulan@cna.nl.ca