Media outlets across the valley are helping Okanagan College to spread the word about the fundraising campaign behind the renovation and expansion of the $33-million Trades Training Complex at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus—and the added awareness has helped to bring in some life-changing support for students.
Global Okanagan and Shaw Media, Bell Media, Black Press, Daily Courier, and Castanet have donated over $385,000 collectively in advertising and media support to the Bright Horizons Building for Skills Fundraising campaign. The goal of the campaign is to raise $7 million: $5 million for construction on the new three-storey trades tower along KLO road, and $2 million for program and student support, which includes bursaries and other assistance to help students enter into trades programs.
“With a province-wide skills gap projected across the trades sector, Okanagan College is renovating and expanding our facilities to train ahead of that gap and help thousands of new tradespeople get job-ready,” said Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “We truly appreciate how the region’s media has bolstered our efforts to raise awareness about this project.”
According to the campaign team, the media’s support in sharing news about the trades expansion has been crucial for showcasing how the community can get involved and the positive impact that their donations will have on students.
“When you consider that the new complex will be able to accommodate over 2,400 students per year, the ripple effect of those students entering the workforce, supporting their families, and contributing to our local economy is immense,” said campaign chair Dennis Gabelhouse. “Our donors are contributing to that ripple effect—their donation is a direct investment in the future of a student working to attain their dream and make a life for themself.”
The Bright Horizons Building for Skills campaign kicked off in October and construction is currently in progress on the 10,000 sq. metre expansion and renovation. The new complex is slated to open in Spring of 2016. The provincial government has committed $28 million to the project.
Kathy Butler, executive director of the Okanagan College Foundation, noted that support from the community has been phenomenal, and that several donors have referenced the recent news coverage as inspiration for their support.
“This campaign is very special in that will help us build bright horizons for students, as the name of the campaign suggests,” explained Butler. “It’s very exciting for us that people hearing about the impact that our donors are having, and that this in turn is inspiring even more people to get involved. We couldn’t be more grateful for the support, and our students are echoing that ‘thank you’ every day.”
To learn more about the campaign’s current needs and opportunities to get involved, please visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/campaign.