Photo: Okanagan College and FortisBC representatives pose in front of the new trades training centre, Vernon campus (Fortis BC)
The new trades training centre at the Vernon campus of Okanagan College is getting a boost from Fortis BC.
The power and natural gas company is providing $42,000 in cash and equipment for the new centre, scheduled for completion in the early summer.
“In addition to supporting the facility, the gift will also provide students with some state-of-the-art equipment and help the College deliver training on the latest techniques in energy efficient construction,” says Gary Fillingham, Fortis BC Operations Manager, Interior South.
The gift from FortisBC includes a $20,000 donation toward the facility, bringing the Okanagan College Foundation’s Bright Horizons – Building for Skills fundraising campaign closer to its $1-million goal.
An additional $10,000 gift-in-kind of gas meters will provide plumbing and electrician students with invaluable opportunities to train using equipment they’ll encounter out in the industry.
FortisBC’s Conservation and Energy Management group is also contributing $12,000 to support curriculum development that will allow the College to deliver training on energy-efficient construction techniques.
“The demand for skilled tradespeople is increasing at FortisBC and in the energy industry, so having this high level of training in Vernon is good for our organization and for the region in general,” adds Fillingham.
“This significant gift from FortisBC will have a tremendous impact on our students and on our campus,” says Kathy Butler, Executive Director, Okanagan College Foundation.
The 13,450 square-foot training complex is being built in the former parking lot of the campus.
Trades students currently train in a leased facility off-campus and will begin programs in the new facility in August.
The $6.2 million state-of-the-art building will have the capacity to train about 150 students per year.