The Pas Local News

University College of the North Creates Information Technology Readiness North Project

(The Pas, MB) – University College of the North’s (UCN) newest information technology project sets out to lessen the digital and economic divide for Indigenous women in the North.

 

UCN is launching first-of-its-kind IT training for women in Northern Manitoba in September 2021. The Information Technology Readiness North (InTeRN) program is a research-based pilot project that will work to address gaps and barriers preventing northern women from finding IT jobs.

 

“What the North lacks in IT, we make up in potential waiting to be discovered. The world needs the talents, the unique perspectives, and the ideas that are found in our area and our people,” said Rob Penner, project lead and UCN Associate Vice-President of Community and Industry Solutions.

 

UCN, in partnership with the Future Skills Centre (FSC), seeks to improve the outcomes of northern communities and northern women by offering training in an industry that promises economic opportunities, advancement, and financial security.

 

UCN’s approach to IT training will be unique to the north and to the populations it serves. By braiding soft skills, digital skills, and using oral storytelling as a personal growth pedagogy, InTeRN aims to bridge the digital and real worlds, making those connections for our students easier. 

Industry partners like Computers for Schools are helping move the project forward.

 

“Partnering with UCN to develop the InTeRN Project will provide hands-on training for students at the University College of the North, helping the local community gain employment skills and strategy,” said Justin Minard, executive director, Computers for schools.

 

InTeRN students will not only receive hands-on training but will also be employed on day one working in the Computers for Schools depot.

“UCN recognized the lack of opportunities for local women to access IT training. The IT course will begin with a women-only pilot project with the intent of opening training to all students in the future,” said Tara Manych, Education Director at Kesley Adult Learning Centre.

 

The Information Technology Readiness North (InTeRN) program is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre.

 

University College of the North provides learning opportunities to northern communities while respecting diverse Indigenous and northern values.

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