Southeast Regional College: Electrical program set for Moosomin this fall

April 13, 2015 7:54 am
Kevin Weedmark

Southeast Regional College has decided to offer its electrical program in Moosomin this fall.

The program was not on the college’s original schedule for this fall.

After finding out that initial plans were to not hold the office education or the electrical program in Moosomin this fall, the town of Moosomin and chamber of commerce asked for a meeting with College CEO Dion McGrath to discuss the changes.

At a meeting with the town and chamber representatives, Southeast College CEO Dion McGrath said a lack of funding led to the decision to not offer the programs in Moosomin this fall.

The electrical program in Moosomin was the next program on the priority list for funding however, he said.

McGrath said the initial plans were based on an expectation of a one per cent funding increase from the provincial government. The provincial budget included a larger funding increase than expected, and the college was able to find additional funding from other programs.

As a result, the college board decided Thursday to include the full-time electrical program in Moosomin in the fall schedule.

McGrath said the change was made based on “a number of factors including a modest increase in our STA budget announced in the provincial budget and by identifying some efficiencies in our programming budget.”

“This program was the next on our priority list if the college was able to identify sufficient funds,” he said.

McGrath will be in Moosomin in May to speak to the Chamber of Commerce about the College’s role in the community.

“It really boiled down to money,” McGrath said in an interview Wednesday.
“The provincial budget gave us a little bump and we needed to do some looking at our budgets internally.”

“We were able to save some money in one of our other programs,” he explained.

“In our heavy equipment truck and transport program, we had to budget in rental and equipment costs, but we have now signed a partnership with the department of highways to use their facilities, so we saved a whole bunch of rental and equipment costs.

“That freed up some budget so we could fund the next priority program, the Moosomin electrical program.”

He said the larger than expected increase in provincial funding made it easier to offer the electrical program in Moosomin this fall.

“It certainly helped. $27,000 isn’t enough to run a program, but that, coupled with our efforts to find some savings internally, made it possible to continue this program.

“We always welcome when we get an increase in provincial funding.”

He said the college administration continues to look for internal savings.

“We want to find all the efficiencies we can, because our goal is to offer as much programming as we can.”

McGrath said it was helpful to get input from the Chamber and the town.

“It was extremely helpful, and I’m looking forward to the ongoing engagement with the business community in the Moosomin area going forward. As much as no one likes when these circumstances arise, I never want to waste an opportunity for greater input from the community.

“I know we can do better if we have more input from the business community. It can only make our programs better.”

While the electrical program for Moosomin is being added to the schedule later than usual, McGrath said there will still be sufficient time to set up the program.

McGrath will be the guest speaker at the Tuesday, May 12 Moosomin Chamber of Commerce meeting.