The College of New Caledonia will be adding to its complement of trades training facilities.
With $6.9 million in funding from the Government of Canada and matching funds from the Province of BC, a new 25,000 square foot trades training facility will be built on campus. That facility will help for students to gain skills that will prepare them for jobs in industries such as oil and gas, forestry and hydro-electricity. “There are expected to be up to one million job openings in B.C. over the next ten years, many of those in the skilled trades and many in the North,” says Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training. “We also know that investing in training in our region is critical to keeping talent in northern British Columbia. A new heavy-mechanical trades-training facility will give students at the College of New Caledonia the skills they need to access jobs that support their families and help grow our economy.”
The College is also contributing $1.2 million to the project that will accommodate 251 existing spaces and 48 new students. Connor Cameron is one of those students who will directly benefit. Cameron is a first year member of the Heavy Duty Mechanical Foundation Program who moved to Prince George from Vancouver Island. He believes new equipment for industries like farming to mining and forestry to transportation will change the game. “It brings opportunities, it brings hope, success, all those words,” Cameron said. “You really want to be up to date with the new equipment and the new policies and that state of art equipment and technology and computers are coming in and it’s more brain power than it is just wrenching.”
CNC President Henry Reiser hopes students will continue to benefit from training in Northern BC. Reiser added that many students will no longer have to wait to enroll in certain programs as a result of the new building. “In Heavy Duty Mechanics I believe our current wait list is over two years, this will reduce the wait time and we’ll be able to put more sections through.
For now, Resier says CNC has a lot of work ahead before the new building becomes a reality. “We have 17 months for substantial completion and we’re hoping we’ll be in it as soon as possible.”