Post-secondary education options in Brantford will expand this fall following an announcement at Laurier Brantford on Monday morning.
Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning will begin offering business programs in the city's downtown this September.
"Conestoga has a long history of delivering relevant, career-focused learning programs that develop the skills and knowledge that lead to personal and professional success," Conestoga's president John Tibbits said. "We are tremendously pleased to have this opportunity to work with the City of Brantford and our educational partners for the benefit of the local community.
"We have worked closely with (Wilfrid) Laurier University in our main community and this partnership has long-term growth potential for this community."
Tibbits said the college will start by offering a two-year business diploma program and a one-year post-graduate certificate in human resources management. The college plans to offer additional programs in business, media, health and community service in the future.
"What we are announcing is a very modest start," Tibbits said. "We would hope eventually to have trade programs in this area."
Brantford Mayor Chris Friel said the city continues to re-invent itself through education.
"As a community and as partners, we continue to engage and support the development of a unique solution to re-inventing our downtown, one that continues to grow, prosper and present ongoing benefits to our community," Friel said. "The presence of Conestoga College will not only enhance post-secondary opportunities…and our ability to attract and retain businesses, but also contribute to showcasing Brantford as a centre of excellence.
"Fifteen years ago, we had one post-secondary institution in Brantford. Now, we have four."
The announcement addresses a recommendation made in a recent economic impact report that suggested the city and its partners prioritize the "identification and engagement of a new college partner."
Wilfrid Laurier University president and vice-chancellor Max Blouw said the university is no stranger to working with Conestoga College.
"We have long enjoyed a strong relationship with Conestoga and we welcome them to Brantford," Blouw said. "Our innovative post-secondary partnerships continue to benefit the students, the institutions and the community.
"When institutions partner, students can have much more choice. Today exemplifies partnerships and we are really looking forward to growing post-secondary education in Brantford."