November 29, 2009 | Manitoba
In 1873, at the corner of Portage and Main, a small village was incorporated as the City of Winnipeg and since then it has grown to become Manitoba's largest city and Canada's third largest financial centre.
Since 2004, one of Winnipeg's premier educational institutes has been a block away from this most famous intersection to provide first class post secondary education for students and at the same time provide trained and qualified employers for Winnipeg and the surrounding province.
At the corner of Main Street and Graham Avenue, across the street from Winnipeg Square, is CDI College of Business, Technology, Health Care. Students come, not only from Winnipeg but from Northern Communities, Rural Manitoba and Northwest Ontario and Saskatchewan to learn valuable skills necessary to start their careers.
This campus is rapidly becoming a major health care educational provider boasting a fully equipped, state of the art dental laboratory and operatory including radiograph - X-Ray - facilities. This dental facility allows for prescreened members of the public, at selected times, to be able to receive free dental cleaning under the supervision of qualified dental assistants and a dentist.
Centrally located, CDI College is a centre of many charitable activities and drives. It is no wonder why it is the best campus across Canada for its successful food bank drive for Winnipeg Harvest, bringing in over half a ton of food to benefit Winnipeg families in need. The College was decorated with massive pink bows and balloons this October to be a leader in the "Run for the Cure" on behalf of Breast Cancer Research.
"Almost 99% of all students wore pink to show their support", said Tahl East, Campus Director, "The media would stop in with no warning, just to see what was going on."
In fact, members of the media are no stranger to CDI College. It is a favourite downtown base of operations for KICK FM's Marty Gold's "Great Canadian Talk Show."
Winnipeg guests on his show who were able to see CDI College have included Mayor Sam Katz and Councillor John Orlikow.
It also welcomes our elected leaders and business leaders who come to visit the campus, East stated, "Our students have seen many potential employers, business and professional leaders visit our campus and see our students hard at work."
"Employer advisory councils happen frequently and allow for employers to visit the campus, see the students and tell us what skills they need our graduates to have to stay current in our rapidly changing workplace and economy," East said.
Students, who are not familiar with Winnipeg's downtown, quickly become immersed in the rich social and cultural life of Winnipeg's center. "We provide a positive safe social environment, not by design, but just by bringing so many intelligent and positive people together as students," East noticed. "We also provide information to our new students about Winnipeg's heart and the many services and fun things to do, when they are not studying."
Many of the CDI College graduates choose to remain downtown either living nearby and/or working.
Downtown Winnipeg law firms hire CDI graduates, downtown medical clinics recruit CDI graduates, downtown businesses, government departments and not for profit groups also are employers for CDI graduates.
CDI Winnipeg has been active with the Downtown community with representation on the Downtown Biz.
"Our Addictions and Community Services graduates have been employed with many downtown social service providers including the Biz itself." East said, observing that two students of the addictions program are doing their practicum with the Biz itself.
The centrally located campus location allows for more than being at the center of the city and at the heart of its bus routes and transportation system, it also allows for a convergence of people.
"We have representation from people from every continent and from all four corners of Manitoba" East explained,
"Just as Portage and Main is the center of Winnipeg, CDI Winnipeg is a vibrant centre of people coming together to learn, grow, be part of the community and to build their future."