(From left) Langford Coun. Winnie Sifert, Coun. Roger Wade, Coun. Matt Sahlstrom, Coun. Lillian Szpak, Royal Roads director Dale Gann, Coun. Denise Blackwell and Coun. Lanny Seaton watch as Mayor Stew Young (centre) signs a memorandum of understanding between the City of Langford and Royal Roads University. (Katherine Engqvist/News Gazette staff)

Langford, Royal Roads partner to keep talent on the West Shore

MOU will target talent creation, retention and attraction with official partnership

The City of Langford and Royal Roads University achieved a new milestone at Monday’s council meeting.

Royal Roads and the City signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that formalizes a partnership between the two parties to allow them to explore opportunities that promote growth, sustainability and economic prosperity through education.

“This is a great start and we’re excited to work with you to improve what we have,” said Mayor Stew Young. “We’re looking forward to a good relationship … what we’re trying to do in Langford is get people to stay in our community and provide the proper education and facilities. Royal Roads has that.”

Young noted this MOU will enhance their existing relationship. “Post-secondary education is paramount to this council … we want to make sure that as we have growth in this community we actually have the post-secondary education facilities for the kids to stay in our community and not have to go somewhere else.”

The hope is that this partnership will help address the growing needs of the West Shore through collaboration and exploration in several areas including applied research and community-focused education, educational services, meeting the needs of local Indigenous communities and international students, work integrated learning opportunities for students, opportunities in sustainability and technology sectors, and community development initiatives.

Dale Gann, the university’s director of business development, was at Monday’s council meeting on behalf of president and vice-chancellor Allan Cahoon and Royal Roads.

“It’s pretty exciting to see this here this evening,” he said. “The spirit of this is to do exactly what has been happening – it’s to work on something we all know is really important to our economy and that’s talent creation, talent retention and talent attraction.”

Gann noted the university is looking to make this relationship official as they have been in the community for a long time and have had a great impact on the region. He added they want to continue that by taking a more active role.

“We look forward to many more years of working with the City of Langford.”

The MOU will be in effect for five years, at which time it can be reviewed for the possibility of extending the partnership.

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