A new training facility at College of the Rockies will inspire future generations of electrical and industrial mechanic students to jump-start rewarding trades careers in their local communities.
The Patterson Hall trades training facility increases training capacity, and accommodates new technology and equipment for students in the electrical and industrial mechanic (millwright) programs. Expanding the college's ability to provide the most current trades training will help meet growing industry demand for skilled workers in the region.
“We’re opening the doors to better training and more opportunities for students to help build the best B.C.,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, as the facility celebrated its official opening. “The new trades training facility in Cranbrook will better equip students with the skills and training that will give them good-paying, family-supporting careers in a range of industries.”
Funding for the $11.5-million building came from the Province of B.C., the Government of Canada’s Strategic Investment Fund, the Columbia Basin Trust, a private-sector donation from Teck, and the College of the Rockies.
“This once-in-a-generation investment by the Government of Canada positions Canada as a global centre for innovation,” said Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “It moves forward the government’s vision to make Canada a world leader in turning ideas into solutions, science into technologies, skills into jobs and startup companies into global successes. The Canadian economy can become globally competitive when we create conditions conducive to innovation and long-term growth, like this investment.”
David Walls, president, College of the Rockies –
“Thanks to the provincial and federal governments, and our community funders, this state-of-the-art facility will allow students to learn on the most cutting-edge technology, in the most supportive environment. We’re giving our students the best education and building up a skilled workforce that will serve the needs of our communities and industry partners.”
Johnny Strilaeff, president and CEO, Columbia Basin Trust –
“The new Patterson Hall trades training facility will improve the Columbia Basin’s post-secondary options and strengthen our workforce. Students can achieve their career goals locally, while our region’s employers will have a greater opportunity to hire the skilled tradespeople they need.”
Robin Sheremeta, senior vice-president, coal, Teck –
“By supporting upgraded training facilities and trades scholarships, Teck is pleased to help students in the region access the strong career opportunities created by the mining industry. This investment will help strengthen the economy of the East Kootenay region by helping to meet the growing demand for skilled workers in the mining industry.”
Sara Weech, electrician apprenticeship student, College of the Rockies –
“I really appreciate how the trades training I received at the College of the Rockies has opened up new opportunities for me. I now have a job that I love and one that is a perfect fit for me personally. It’s great that more students will be able to attend trades training in this new facility.”
Gary Herman, CEO, Industry Training Authority –
“Equipping our apprentices with a modern training space with the latest technology is a sure way to prepare British Columbians with the right skills and knowledge for the jobs of today and tomorrow. We’re excited to see the government investing in trades training and advancing our apprentices on a successful apprenticeship pathway.”
Post-secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund website: canada.ca/SIF
College of the Rockies: www.cotr.bc.ca/
A backgrounder follows.