Jack Moes influences futures

Jack Moes describes students in the trades program as creative, innovative problem solvers

Jack Moes, dean of trades and technology at College of the Rockies, is pleased about the imminent $10-million expansion of the trades teaching facility.

Jack Moes, dean of trades and technology at College of the Rockies, is pleased about the imminent $10-million expansion of the trades teaching facility. — Marie Milner photo

Back in 2015, the heightened profile of the trades program at College of the Rockies caught the attention of Jack Moes, vice-president academic and research at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon, Manitoba.

“My wife and I were attracted to the (Kootenay) lifestyle,” Moes said. “The mountain environment, recreation and wineries close at hand—and the opportunity here at the college sounded very interesting and intriguing as well, and here we are.”

Moes has been the dean of trades and technology at the Cranbrook campus since September 2015. Given his position, we think it’s fair to call Moes an influencer, and he said he welcomes the responsibility and the opportunity to make a positive difference on several levels.

Motivating innovation, preparation and connection

“Part of the opportunity is within the college itself,” he said, “motivating our employees to think of ways that they can innovate and provide more hands-on, engaging learning experiences for their students. I’m also trying to motivate a stronger connection between the college and the community of employers that my programs are intended to provide graduates for.

“We are serving a need for those employers and for economic development in general in the region, and even trying to see the issues and opportunities that are on the horizon so we can make sure our students are aware and prepared. The program is aimed at developing mastery, independence and problem-solving skills that will be valued by employers.”

A big step forward

The recently announced $10-million expansion of the trades facility at College of the Rockies makes this an exciting time for Moes and the instructors in the trades and technology department. They are enjoying this rare opportunity to design and organize their space in a way that best facilitates a learning experience for their students.

“Once the trades facility expansion is done, we’ll be moving the students from the Gold Creek campus here to the main campus, where they can be more a part of the college community,” Moes said.

College, careers, community

Ever since Moes became involved in the college world, he has supported the connection and responsiveness of colleges to their communities and to the industries, businesses and organizations within those communities. He believes that college administrations understand the role of colleges in filling the workforce training requirements that make those communities function.

Moes also believes that colleges should be recognized by their communities for their important function as economic drivers. College of the Rockies plays a vital part in providing local businesses and industries with trained personnel, including professional development, certification and supplementary training.

Moes said that trades deserve more recognition as worthy careers in terms of financial reward, portability and ongoing satisfaction. For the future, he would love to come up with a way to link the program’s tradespeople with business training. 

“Often our tradespeople either set up shop on their own or are part of someone else’s business,” he said, “and having some savvy with respect to business management, entrepreneurship and human resources management would be beneficial to them.”

For the moment, though, Moes is capitalizing on the opportunities offered and making sure his program is strong. 

Marie Milner

Marie Milner is a writer and photographer for Kootenay Business magazine and several other publications. She appreciates the inspiration that she gets during her interviews and hopes to share that inspiration with you. View all of Marie Milner’s articles

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