CLAC gift helps Okanagan College equip trades students

“We are very pleased to support Okanagan College in developing this modern trades facility ..."

One of Canada’s largest national independent unions has come forward with a major donation to help Okanagan College put tools in the hands of tradespeople in training.

CLAC has donated $30,000 toward a new tool crib in the College’s carpentry shop, which has received an extensive renovation and upgrades in recent months. The tools will be used by students in the Carpentry and RV Service programs.

“CLAC Training BC believes strongly in strengthening communities through better training opportunities,” said Larry Richardson, CLAC’s Director of Training for BC.

“We are very pleased to support Okanagan College in developing this modern trades facility, which will help the College continue to train skilled workers for B.C.’s industries.”

Upgrades to the carpentry shop, which include the addition of the new tool crib, along with a new paint spray booth and a new dust extraction system, are all part of the $33-million renovation and expansion of the trades training facilities underway at the Kelowna campus.

“Our sincere thanks go out to CLAC for helping us enhance the learning environment for our carpentry students,” said Steve Moores, Okanagan College’s Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship.

“Overall, the new shop is far more modern and efficient, and the location of the new tool crib makes it more accessible to students in our outside work spaces, which the students and instructors greatly appreciate.”

The new three-storey Trades Training Complex along KLO Road is expected to be completed and open to students by spring of 2016.

The Okanagan College Foundation launched the Bright Horizons Building for Skills campaign to raise the necessary $5 million for capital construction costs and $2 million for program and student support to top up the provincial government’s $28 million commitment.

Formed in 1952, CLAC is one of Canada’s fastest-growing unions. Operating through 15 member centres, it is currently the largest national, independent, multi-sector union representing over 60,000 workers.

With a strong demand for more skilled tradespeople over the next decade – more than 160,000 in B.C. alone – CLAC recognized the need to reinforce the College’s effort to train proactively against potential skills shortages.

“The practical skills and education offered through this new facility will enable our tradespeople to gain the necessary knowledge to help us compete not only within Canada, but in the global marketplace,” says Brad Bent, CLAC’s Director of Training for Alberta.

Okanagan College is currently B.C.’s second largest trades training institution, offering an array of Apprenticeship and Foundation (pre-Apprenticeship) training programs.

The College has launched numerous initiatives in recent years to support student access and success in trades training. Women in Trades Training (WITT) provides additional support, mentorship and job-readiness training specifically geared for women entering the trades. The Dual-credit and Gateway to Trades programs are intended to introduce high school students to trades careers and help them build skills.

More information about the renovation and expansion project and opportunities to support the fundraising campaign is available at www.okanagan.bc.ca/campaign.

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