Premier Christy Clark today announced $100,000 towards business plans for a new automotive and marine repair facility and a new health and science centre in addition to a $1 million investment in information technology upgrades at Vancouver Island University.
“We are preparing students for careers in a range of sectors critical to our economy, including LNG,” said Premier Clark, who made the announcement in her address to the State of the Island Economic Summit. “Investing in new buildings to deliver education and training alongside IT upgrades at Vancouver Island University is an investment in our future.”
The Province is providing $50,000 each towards the development of two business plans at Vancouver Island University.
The first business plan is for a new automotive, motorcycle and marine repair facility. The new facility is expected to consolidate and create a new trades centre to meet the growing demand of the local and mid-island communities for trained individuals in the automotive, motorcycle and marine sectors.
The second business plan is for a new health and science centre that trains and educates professionals in nursing, healthcare and biology programs. The centre will consolidate existing programs. The centre will ensure that VIU continues to meet requirements for accreditation and provides industry relevant and responsive health and science programs in a modern learning environment.
The automotive and marine repair facility and the health and science centre support B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, which outlines a plan to align funding and programs to a data-driven system where training dollars and programs target in-demand occupations. B.C.’s Blueprint includes investing $185 million in new trades facilities and equipment.
The $1 million investment in information technology upgrades will allow the university to modernize its IT infrastructure, install upgraded firewalls at remote campuses and increase bandwidth at the Nanaimo Campus so the university can remain on the cutting edge of program delivery.
“Our government is investing in education and training to position British Columbians for success,” said Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson. “From trades to healthcare, our growing, diverse and strong economy needs a range of skilled occupations for new and replacement job openings.”
“Vancouver Island University wants to be positioned as an economic driver for the island that benefits students, employers and industry,” said Vancouver Island University president Ralph Nilson. “The university is grateful for the funding to support business cases for the health and science centre and the trades centre, as well as the investment in upgrading core IT infrastructure.”
Details about the cost, scope and size of the new automotive and marine repair facility as well as the health and science centre will be determined by the business plans. The business plan for the automotive and marine facility is expected by mid-2016, while the business plan for the health and science centre is expected by spring 2016.
The new automotive and marine repair facility and the health and science centre are expected to be designed to meet LEED Gold standard and fit within the context of the Nanaimo Campus Master Plan at Vancouver Island University.
In addition to plans for the new automotive and marine repair facility and health and science centre, other Blueprint investments at Vancouver Island University include: $1.5 million for 276 critical trades seats, $1.1 million for industry-standard trades training equipment and $125,000 to develop programs to support people with disabilities access and succeed in training aligned with in-demand jobs.