NLC works to reboost Alberta economy

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Northern Lakes College is one of 11 colleges active in a plan to help Alberta economy recover from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Alberta Colleges Economic Recovery Task Force has issued its initial recommendations to support the provincial economic recovery, says a news release July 24 from Grande Prairie Regional College on behalf of the colleges.

The task force released its 15 initial recommendations identifying how Alberta’s colleges can support and expedite local, provincial and national economic recovery, create future competitive job market growth and tackle the unprecedented challenges resulting from the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“The task force has built its recommendations based on the economic growth, stability, and community connection Alberta’s colleges provide,” says Dr. Robert Murray, president of GPRC and chair of the task force.

The task force’s initial recommendations focus on four key areas:

-Workforce Data:
Priorities include steps to co-ordinate workforce data analysis to drive decisions identifying necessary skills for a globally competitive workforce.
Analyzing gaps in reskilling, upskilling and skill shifts in Alberta’s existing and prospective workforce at all three levels of government will provide insight into current sector employment demographics and needs.

-Micro-Credentialing:
Priorities include steps to develop programming to address Alberta’s most immediate skills needs and shortages.
Implementing new micro-credential programming directly correlating to in-demand skills will result in support to local businesses acquiring experienced, educated and knowledgeable personnel to improve professional practice while elevating student success.

-Work-Integrated Learning:
Priorities include steps to design work-integrated learning programs, specifically technology and computer programs, focused on supporting in-field employment in areas of need with lasting effects.
Alberta’s colleges work with students, industry and the Government of Alberta to develop work-integrated learning programming focused on bridging employment gaps with collaborative solutions.

-Innovation:
Priorities include steps to redefine the roles of Alberta’s colleges in the provincial innovation ecosystem by commercializing made-in-Alberta innovation, and providing solutions leading to a globally competitive workforce.
It includes focusing colleges’ expertise in applied research to significantly benefit students, contribute to economic productivity, and help community organizations and business partners achieve their innovation potential and competitive advantage.

“Alberta’s colleges have played, and will continue to play, a pivotal role in our province’s economic resiliency by addressing growing industry demands and immediate programming needs,” Murray says.

“Our collective goals remain to create long-term opportunities for our communities to build Alberta’s and Canada’s economic strength.”

For more information and the 15 recommendations, visit the NLC website at www.northernlakescollege.ca.

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