Okanagan College’s new Trades Training House has officially opened. It is expected that more than 300 students will train in the facility per year.
The next generation of carpenters, plumbers, and electricians are stepping into a state-of-the-art new training space designed to simulate a real-world jobsite that will constantly change as new techniques, technologies and building materials emerge.
“Skilled tradespeople play a vital role in ensuring the economic prosperity of the Okanagan and communities across the country,” said Stephen Fuhr, Kelowna-Lake Country Member of Parliament. “The Trades Training House is going to benefit students and our local employers looking for skilled workers for years to come.” Beyond future carpenters, plumbers and pipefitters and electricians, the facility will also serve students in the College’s Residential Construction, Sheet Metal Worker, Women in Trades Training and Aboriginal Gateway to the Building Trades programs.
The total cost for the 2,700 square-foot facility was approximately $1,060,000. To date – not including the federal government’s commitment – the College has received more than $384,000 in donations and gifts-in-kind toward the project. The College will contribute the remainder of the cost.
The house will also give the College and industry a space to pursue new programming, work-integrated learning and applied research projects.
“The beauty of the Trades Training House is that it will benefit students across so many programs and stages of training, while offering us the flexibility to offer new programming as industry needs change locally, across the province and beyond,” said Jim Hamilton, president of Okanagan College. “We’re immensely grateful to the federal government for its investment in trades training at the College. I would also like to extend our gratitude to the many donors and industry partners who have stepped up with significant and varied contributions to help outfit the space.”
Plans are in the works to add a solar photovoltaic array to the roof to capture energy and provide a tool for the College to be able to offer training in solar panel installation, maintenance and repair in future.