Willis News

Metroland media and InsideOttawaValley Report on New Arnprior Campus to Train People for Jobs

November 26, 2013

New Arnprior Campus to Train People for Jobs

News – A new job-training campus has opened in Arnprior. Classes began this week at the newest campus of Ottawa-based Willis College.

The arrival of the welcomed new addition to Arnprior was celebrated by a grand opening ceremony at the 39 Winners Circle Dr. location last Friday. Willis College president and CEO Rima Aristocrat and her staff were joined by several local dignitaries at the ribbon-cutting.

“With Willis College’s specialized, targeted approach to job training, they will not only be filling an essential need of local employers, they will be helping lay that foundation for better jobs for Arnprior and area residents,” said Arnprior Mayor David Reid.

Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MP Cheryl Gallant pointed out that the campus well positions Arnprior to take advantage of the new jobs that will result from the Canadian-Europe free trade agreement finalized this month.

An estimated 80,000 new jobs will be created by the new markets in Europe, she said. Gallant said there are many jobs available that need to be filled and there are people around to fill them if only they had the proper skills and training.

That’s why the federal government is supportive to Willis College locating a campus in Arnprior, she said.

The campus will focus on upgrading jobseekers skills in the technology, business and health fields. It anticipates have up to 150 students within a year.

As enrolment climbs, the five local staff members will likely be upped to close to a dozen.

Aristocrat said the campus will draw on students from a large area from Carleton Place to Petawawa and Calabogie to Carp. The college provides students the much-needed tools and training to allow them to face the challenges and demands of modern society, she said.

“This new campus will not only assist students in acquiring the skills necessary to enhance their job prospects, but will directly address an employment need in Arnprior and district area” said Yakabuski.

“I am pleased that Willis has chosen Arnprior as a location for their new campus and wish them every success.” He said Willis College has the experience and expertise to help people adapt to changing work place needs.

“I warmly welcome Willis College on the opening of their Arnprior Campus,” said Gallant. “Students will receive professional, specialized training, adapted to suit the needs of employers in Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke.”

Smiths Falls Mayor Dennis Staples noted that the locating of a Willis College campus in his town in 2009 made a “profound difference” in his community beset by job layoffs. “No doubt that will happen here (in Arnprior),” he said.

Reid pointed out that when the Winners Circle was built back in 1990 it was envisioned that the second floor office space would be ideal for a community college. “So it is fantastic, while it is almost 25 years later, that indeed that is happening here today,” he said.

“Education and specialized up-to-date job training is the foundation of good long term career opportunities and essential to sustaining viable, successful businesses,” said Reid. He said a good working relationship between college and town officials help make the campus a reality. He congratulated Arnprior resident Bernard Doyle, Willis College’s manager of financial services, for playing a “key role” in having Arnprior considered for the new campus. He also thanked Aristocrat for being the “vision and drive behind the success of Willis College” and for the college’s “investment and commitment to the Town of Arnprior.”

Aristocrat, who has been with the college for 25 years, noted that the celebration was also marking the 118th anniversary for Willis College, which was founded in 1896. “It’s quite exciting … it’s beginning a new chapter for Willis College,” she said. “We’re looking to make a major impact on Arnprior and area.” Aristocrat said the college has gained a reputation as a quality adult educational training provider dedicated to skills training excellence. “Today, Willis College continues to lead and adapt in employability skills training, suitable for the ever-changing and emerging demands in the labour market,” she said.

“Graduates benefit from our long prestigious history and accomplishments while providing our students with new exciting career paths.”


Originally posted online by Arnprior Chronicle-Guide through Inside Ottawa Valley

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