Call it an investment in Georgian College students that will provide a great return and help meet the needs of a growing community. The school’s Sadlon Centre for Health, Wellness and Sciences received a huge financial boost on Feb. 6 when County of Simcoe Warden Gerry Marshall presented a cheque for $500,000 to Georgian president and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes.

The money represents the final pledge payment in the county’s  $2-million commitment to the Sadlon Centre. A portion of the $500,000 cheque also included the county’s first pledge payment supporting its $5-million commitment to the Advanced Technology, Innovation and Research Centre, scheduled to open in the fall of 2018.

“Georgian College is one of our greatest community assets, and we are extremely pleased to continue to invest in building local post-secondary education capacity for our residents,” Marshall said. “From healthcare to manufacturing skilled trades, these are strategic programs that meet the needs of our regional labour market and ultimately fuels the engine that drives our growing economy.”

County of Simcoe councillors on hand were given a tour of the Sadlon Centre and briefed by students and faculty on the new programs and equipment that have been added since the building first opened in 2011. Councillors were also given a demonstration by the acupuncture students, who are also part of the Georgian College Tai Chi team, on a routine practice called Moving Meditation, OiGong. The students taught the group crane form and bear form, which exercise the kidney and digestive functions.

The Simcoe County councillors also got to see an Electroencephalography (EEG) demonstration from the new Biotechnology – Health program and stopped by the paramedic lab. Many of the county’s residents, including county employees in paramedic and long-term care services, receive training at the Sadlon Centre.

In 2016-17, 43 per cent of the students who studied at Georgian had a Simcoe County address at the time of the application. Of those students who graduated in the same time frame, 56 per cent have an address in Simcoe County.

“Georgian and the County of Simcoe have a strong, special partnership that has long benefited students, employers and our communities,” West-Moynes said. “We are so grateful for county council’s ongoing commitment.”

Thanks to the skills and talents of students, faculty and partners who help the college work toward sustainable solutions, West-Moynes believes the future is in good hands.

“We can only imagine what innovation will come in the future from our students and community researchers to enhance the incredible strides our society has made in health and well-being,” she said.

The County of Simcoe’s total investment in Georgian College is now up to $4.2 million. The county has also invested in the John Di Poce South Georgian Bay Campus in Collingwood.

In the photo, County of Simcoe councillors presented Georgian College with a cheque for $500,000 on Tuesday in support of health care and advanced technology education. From left to right are: Collingwood Mayor Sandra Cooper, Bradford West Gwillimbury Mayor Rob Keffer, Oro-Medonte Mayor Harry Hughes, Simcoe County Warden Gerry Marshall, Georgian College president and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes, Springwater Mayor Bill French and Tiny Township Mayor Steffen Walma. Photo provided by Georgian College.