PCL helping Okanagan College build the future of trades training

The construction company overseeing the renovation and expansion of Okanagan College’s new trades training facilities made a major donation

The construction company overseeing the renovation and expansion of Okanagan College’s new trades training facilities has made a major donation to support the College’s efforts to elevate the learning environment for tradespeople.

PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc. (PCL) has pledged $75,000 to the Okanagan College Foundation’s Bright Horizons Building for Skills fundraising campaign for the new Trades Training Complex at the College’s Kelowna campus.

“Okanagan College is a leader in producing qualified skilled tradespeople for our province and our country,” says Todd Craigen, PCL’s Vice President and District Manager for the B.C. Region. “These tradespeople are on the frontlines of jobsites everyday building the projects that PCL is renowned for across North America.”

“We continue to hear from government and from our industry partners that the province could be facing a significant skills shortage across the trades and technical sector over the next decade,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton.

“With more than 160,000 new job openings projected in the trades in B.C. by 2022, this new facility will allow us to continue to build the Okanagan as a hub for trades training, which is timely for the province and beneficial for our regional economy. More than 40 per cent of our trades students come from outside of the Okanagan.”

Over the past year, 1,926 full-time equivalent students enrolled in foundation or apprenticeship training at the Kelowna campus in 2014-15. The new complex will be able to accommodate more than 2,600 students per year.

This project marks the third major construction project that PCL has partnered with the College on since 2006, when construction began on the LEED Gold certified Centre for Learning at the Kelowna campus.

Following that project, PCL completed The Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation at the Penticton campus in 2011. Since then, the building has received numerous accolades for its innovative design and construction, including being recognized earlier this year as the first building of its size in B.C. to achieve LEED Platinum certification. PCL made a $100,000 donation to the fundraising campaign for the project, along with a $10,000 gift in support of the College’s Sustainable Construction Management Technology diploma program in Penticton.

The $75,000 pledge toward the Bright Horizons campaign brings the company’s total gift to the College to $185,000 to date. PCL is also a long-term sponsor of the Okanagan College Foundation’s annual Charity Golf Tournament, the proceeds of which benefit students.

“On behalf of Okanagan College and the Okanagan College Foundation, I would like to thank PCL for making yet another significant investment in our students and in our infrastructure,” says Foundation Executive Director Kathy Butler. “The fact that Okanagan College graduates are working for PCL on this very project, only steps from where they trained, makes PCL’s support for the campaign all the more meaningful.”

Helping the College advance learning environments for trades students was a natural fit, notes Craigen, given that PCL counts numerous Okanagan College graduates among the more than 10,000 tradespeople employed by its family of companies.

“These people are the backbone of our industry,” he says. “Without qualified skilled trades people, we would not have a successful business.”

The College has set ambitious goals for the Trades Training Complex: aiming to build one of the greenest buildings of its kind in North America by meeting LEED Platinum standards, net-zero energy usage, and carbon neutrality. Doors are slated to open next spring.

The Okanagan College Foundation launched the Bright Horizons fundraising campaign in October of last year with the goal of raising $7 million in capital and program/student support for the project, to top up the Provincial Government’s $28-million investment.

Just Posted

Good Natured Books celebrates first book launch in Kelowna

David Allen, the author of A Song for Swinging, is signing books at Wentworth Music today

Road closures in effect

Kelowna - The Old Vernon, Rutland and Acland Road intersection will close Nov. 20

Wear neon for Glow Night

Kelowna - The annual Glow Night is back Nov. 18

‘Listen to your gut’ urges injured skier

Mike Shaw was told he’d never walk again after an accident four years ago, but he defied the odds

Small grass fire sparks in West Kelowna

Fire crews quickly douse blaze in ditch on Friday afternoon

Flag person struck by car

RCMP investigating incident involving female traffic control person and senior driver

Pine beetles from Jasper National Park moving into commercial forest

In 2014, beetle activity went from a few spots around Jasper’s townsite to rampant

VIDEO: Tragically Hip members, Alex Trebek receive Order of Canada

Newest recipients join 6,897 Canadians such as Christine Sinclair, Graham Greene and Mark Messier

AC/DC’s Malcolm Young dies at 64

‘Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many.’

Rockets calm Hurricanes for 7th straight win at home

Dillon Dube scored twice Friday to lead Rockets to WHL victory over Lethbridge

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Guns and drugs seized in Kamloops RCMP blitz

Kamloops Mounties and the gang unit seize drugs and make arrests in two-day blitz

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Most Read