Assiniboine Community College announced another addition to their fundraising campaign for the building of the college's Prairie Innovation Centre for Sustainable Agriculture and Chemical Engineering Technology.

Cenovus Energy is donating $300,000 towards the build project, which has now secured over $18 million towards the $20 million fundraising goal. This will help provide for the development of lab space within the Prairie Innovation Centre to enhance specialized agriculture programs and learning at the college.  

"This is the largest fundraising project in Westman's history," shares ACC President, Mark Frison. "Now we're just waiting for the government of Canada to make a contribution and then all the financing will be in place."

Cenovus hails from Calgary and is one of the largest energy companies on the Alberta oilfields. It and has been a long-time supporter of ACC, participating in one of their Program Advisory Committees and providing work placement and employment opportunities to Power Engineering students at the company’s Minnedosa plant.  ACC recently expanded its Power Engineering program to include 3rd Class training, and Cenovus was a supporter of that expansion.

The new centre will be built on the North Hill of the Brandon campus in the existing Parkland building which is the largest building on the site.  

"Part of this Prairie Innovation Centre is to address the serious labor challenges in the agriculture sector," explains Frison. "One in three jobs in agriculture are going to go unfilled by 2029 and so we put together a plan to increase the number of students' seats we have from under 300 that we had a few years ago, to over 800 when the Prairie Innovation Centre is built."

The Prairie Innovation Centre is a one-of-a-kind Canadian college project that will bring together collaborative learning spaces, applied research labs, multipurpose spaces and amenities that will serve both industry and the college community. By creating an enhanced agricultural training capacity, the Centre will enable the agriculture sector to continue to be a strong contributor to the Canadian and Manitoban economies.

A vital part of the Prairie Innovation Centre vision is integrating education and connection, providing a venue where producers, industry, researchers, government and students can come together, solve problems and share ideas.

Frison says they are in the final design stage of the project, and then it will go to tender next summer.  "Again, all we're waiting for is to confirm some resources from the government of Canada, and then all the finance will be in place and then we'll be in the position next summer to go to tender."

Please listen to President of ACC Mark Frison as she shares more of what's coming with the building of the Prairie Innovation Centre.

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