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September 3, 2009
WINNIPEG, MB – A new, one-year diploma program means more Aboriginal people in Manitoba will be able to enter careers such as junior web programmers, network support technicians and help desk support professionals. The Aboriginal Information & Communication Technologies Diploma was officially launched in partnership today by The University of Winnipeg’s Division of Continuing Education and the Information and Communication Technologies Association of Manitoba (ICTAM), to begin closing the techno-gap that currently exists in the province’s workforce. Only 1.2% of those in ICT careers in Manitoba are Metis, First Nation and Inuit people.“We are determined to tap into the pool of talent that exists in the Aboriginal community and offer programs that are relevant and timely,” said Lloyd Axworthy, President and Vice-Chancellor of UWinnipeg. “A strong, technical background is increasingly important in a range of careers, and a technically skilled workforce is critical to the future of our province. Students enrolled in this new diploma will be ready for entry level careers, or they may opt to apply their credits towards a degree program at UWinnipeg. We are offering choices to ensure Aboriginal people have access to this growth industry.”
A maximum of sixteen-students will be enrolled in the pilot program which begins October 13, 2009 and runs for one year. Students will spend 4 weeks in a practicum assignment working in ICT positions to gain hands-on experience. The diploma program provides essential skills, business skills and experiential learning situations to ensure Aboriginal students not only graduate but succeed in ICT careers.
“The ICT industry holds many pathways to success and we are committed to ensuring Manitoba’s Aboriginal people are able to participate in our dynamic sector,” said Loren Cisyk, Chairman, ICTAM Board of Directors. ”We are proud of this partnership with The University of Winnipeg – we believe that this collaboration supported by our members will lead to new opportunities developing a diverse, skilled future workforce.”
“We’re proud to have participated in the development of this unique program. As a member of the Advisory Group and as a sponsor, our company is contributing to the curriculum and the students directly by providing laptops for the program,” said Cathy Nieroda Vice-President EDS, an HP company. “We hope this program will create new career opportunities and new growth for
Manitoba’s Aboriginal people and the ICT sector.”
UWinnipeg’s Division of Continuing Education has provided training and education programs in Winnipeg and in rural and Northern Manitoba for more than 30 years, specializing in applied programming that combines the best of theoretical and hands-on learning.
The Information and Communication Technologies Association of Manitoba, founded in 2004, is a non-profit, industry-focused association representing Manitoba’s ICT sector to accelerate the growth, prosperity and sustainability of the industry through relevant programming, advocacy and collaboration.
For more information about the Aboriginal Information & Communication Technologies diploma program, call Stevi Dram AT (204) 982-1168 or visit http://www.uwinnipeg.ca/index/dce-it-aic-and-td
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Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
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