TORONTO — George Brown College Tuesday announced it expects to get $35 million in cash and equipment to expand its technology department and add three new IT programs.
The school plans to open a 120,000-square foot building to
house the Faculty of Technology at its Casa Loma campus in Toronto. The new building is currently under construction and is scheduled to open in September, 2003.
Siemens Dematic Electronics Assembly Inc., which makes equipment used in electronics manufacturing plants, loaned four machines from its SIPLACE product line (including a solder paste printer, two component placement machines and a compact reflow oven) worth a total of $3.1 million to George Brown College for three years. The machines will be used in a manufacturing assembly line at the college’s Centre for Advanced Microelectronics, which will also be housed in the new technology building. George Brown College has raised a total of $13 million (mostly equipment) from corporations and $18 million from the Ontario government for its new building. Total investment in the college is expected to be $35 million.
Frank Sorochinsky, George Brown College’s president, said he is confident it can raise the remaining $4 million from industry. College officials demonstrated the existing Siemens microelectronics lab and the IT Collaborative Learning Centre (ITCLC) at an event – dubbed Technology in the City – held Tuesday at the Casa Loma campus.
The faculty of technology plans to expand the ITCLC, which will be located on the fourth floor of the new building and will include a “”smart classroom”” with a wireless networking lab.
No decision has been made on what specific wireless networking products will be installed, but it will probably include 802.11 wireless local-area networking, cellular and satellite equipment, said James Waller, chairman of the college’s IT programs.
George Brown College plans to add a program in wireless networking for workers who already have a degree, Waller added. He said the course will either be a 10-month intensive study program or a weekend program similar to some executive masters of business administration programs.
The ITCLC currently has three programs: a two-year computer programming diploma, a three-year programmer/analyst program and a two-year computer systems technician diploma.
The college plans to add a computer programming diploma for foreign-trained professionals (designed to improve communications skills), scheduled to start next September, and a three year computer systems technology program, scheduled to open in September, 2003.
Waller said the computer systems technology program will include a wireless networking training and the curriculum (which has yet to be approved by the province) is based on input from 15 companies such as Telus, Bell Mobility, 3Com and ComLink.
Joy McKinnon, the dean of technology, said the college sought input from people in the IT and telecom industries and were told that graduates know technology but need to learn how to work in a business environment.
McKinnon said the college intends have students practise working in teams for project leaders. They will be given scenarios and will have to solve problems that occur in businesses.
Sorochinsky said the $18 million contributed by the province to the college came from two different programs. The SuperBuild program kicked in $10 million while the other $8 million came from the economic development department’s Strategic Skills Investment fund.
Siemens was the largest corporate contributor (when measured by the value of the equipment given) to the project, Sorochinsky added. Siemens, which is based in Germany and makes a variety of equipment, such as construction cranes and telecommunications equipment, provided its electronics manufacturing hardware in order to help raise its profile in Canada, said Alfred Maringer, president of Siemens Canada Ltd.
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