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UNB, NBCC will develop digital pathways program with $1 million gift from J.D. Irving, Limited

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Oct 13, 2023

Category: UNB Saint John

Adrienne Oldford, executive director of the McKenna Institute
Photo: Adrienne Oldford, executive director of the McKenna Institute, announced the new digital pathways program at an event Oct. 12 in Fredericton.

The McKenna Institute, University of New Brunswick (UNB) in Saint John and the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) have announced the development of a new digital pathways program for industry-related careers, made possible through a $1 million gift from J.D. Irving, Limited.

Focused on developing a talent pipeline to improve digital technology competitiveness for organizations in New Brunswick, the pathways program will invest in student scholarships and bursaries at both NBCC and UNB in Saint John for multiple programs related to digital technology.

“An investment in New Brunswick’s next generation is an investment in New Brunswick’s future,” said Jim Irving, co-CEO of J.D. Irving, Limited. “UNB and NBCC have been vital partners in supporting the province’s economic growth and development and we are confident in the future of our young people here at home.”

The fund will also be used to improve existing curriculum surrounding digital technology at both institutions; to explore opportunities for joint applied research; and to align initiatives with sectors while ensuring skills security through the creation of flexible, transferable pathways for learners.

"We are deeply grateful for this generous contribution from our partners at JDI, which will help us continue to empower our students and the community at large with the skills and opportunities needed to excel in the digital economy,” said Mary Butler, president and CEO at NBCC. “We look forward to collaborating with our partners to make this vision a reality, while fostering innovation and driving economic growth across the province."

Dr. Petra Hauf, vice-president Saint John at UNB, says the program will education a “generation of leaders” in the digital economy.

“UNB and J.D. Irving, Limited share a long history of working to build a better New Brunswick. We are tremendously grateful to JDI for this investment in New Brunswick’s digital future,” said Dr. Petra Hauf, vice-president Saint John at UNB. “Likewise, it is exciting to build on established partnerships between UNB and NBCC. This collaboration is a great example of our shared commitment to fostering a strong, qualified generation of leaders in the digital economy.”