Durham College partners with Johnson Controls to support engineering students

Mike Edwards   

News Durham College electromechanical engineering grants Johnson Controls mentorship technology students

Durham College has announced a partnership with Johnson Controls to help meet the growing need for skilled technology workers in Ontario by providing Electromechanical Engineering Technology students with financial support as well as mentorship opportunities.

The college, with campuses in Oshawa and Whitby, ON, has been approved for a grant from Johnson Controls that will provide:

  • Annual entrance bursaries valued at $2,000 each to five students who demonstrate financial need and belong to an equity-deserving group entering their first semester of studies in the Electromechanical Engineering Technology program.
  • Opportunities for students to be mentored and connect on and off campus with Johnson Controls employees to gain additional insight into their future careers.
  • New equipment that will support Durham’s Electromechanical Engineering Technology curriculum and the establishment of a new building automation lab.
  • Opportunities to share the benefits of this program with new prospective students.

The college will receive $95,000 this year, plus $5,000 in equipment, with the total $100,000 commitment renewable for three more years.

“We are grateful for this partnership with Johnson Controls and its generous support to further strengthen our Electromechanical Engineering Technology program and its students,” said Don Lovisa, Durham College president.

“With this gift, we will continue to lead the way by developing knowledgeable and experienced graduates who are able to step into rewarding technical careers that can make a difference in our communities.”

Local Johnson Controls employees — many of whom are graduates from Durham’s Electromechanical Engineering Technology program — will work with the college to mentor students in this automation program. Through relationship building with industry professionals, students will gain insight into their future career paths.

“Not only are we investing in the next generation of workforce leaders, but the mentoring associated with this initiative reminds our employees why we do what we do,” said Julie Brandt, president of Building Solutions North America at Johnson Controls.

“We’re looking at our future and through partnership with these colleges we’re all contributing to a better-supported trades industry.”

Durham’s three-year Electromechanical Engineering Technology program combines electronics design, mechanical technologies, and industrial automation. Students receive access to its Integrated Manufacturing Centre, where they can engage with real-world controllers, robotics, and other technologies. This hands-on experience prepares them for successful careers as they gain the skills needed to design and troubleshoot automated systems used in various technical industries.

Since 2021, the Johnson Controls Community College Partnership Program has distributed $1 million annually across 10 community colleges in North America, focusing on vocational programs to inspire the next generation of workers. Grant recipients can receive a renewed grant for up to three years, creating long-term opportunities for program development. Each college has the option to receive the grants in full monetary value or to receive partial monetary funds along with technical equipment donated by Johnson Controls. Durham College is the only Canadian institution to receive funding this year and just the second in the program’s history.

First-year students beginning Durham’s Electromechanical Engineering Technology program in September 2023 can apply for the Johnson Controls entrance bursary online.

Durham College offers over 12,000 full-time post-secondary and apprenticeship students’ access to more than 145 programs, including five honours bachelor degrees and nine apprenticeship programs.

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