It’s full steam ahead for students pursuing a career in trades following the official ribbon cutting Monday of the new trades training facility at Selkirk College Rosemont Campus in Nelson.
Selkirk College President Angus Graeme was joined by Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, Melanie Mark, Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy as well as Millwright/Machinist Program student Kai Roenspiess and Elder Anne Jimmie inside the new building during the official opening Monday morning.
"Selkirk College is so grateful for the way that the Province of B.C., the Government of Canada, Columbia Basin Trust and our industry, labour union and local government partners have come together to reimagine and renew the Silver King Campus at Selkirk College," Graeme said.
"With everyone's help, students now have a truly life-changing environment to learn, gain confidence and be job-ready for a tremendous future in their chosen field."
Mark said students in the Kootenays will have access to state-of-the-art facilities and the equipment they need to be industry ready as they proceed out into the work community.
"Our government is delivering 21st-century trades training to give students the hands-on experience they need to get high-paying, family supporting jobs and be a part of building the best B.C."
The official opening of three trades buildings and a new student commons building, all LEED certified, can house more than 500 trades students and faculty in the very modern trades training facilities in programs like heavy mechanics, carpentry and welding.
The project includes two renovated trades buildings on the Silver King Campus grounds, as well as the construction of a new carpentry shop with a large covered outdoor work area. The new student commons building houses a cafeteria, a multi-purpose open study area and an Indigenous Gathering Place.
The project will create space efficiencies that will enable the college to accommodate existing demand, as well as growth, without increasing the campus footprint.
"Selkirk College's Silver King Campus renewal project means that trades students in the Kootenays now have access to modern, sustainable facilities where they get the hands-on training they need,” said Mungall, MLA for Nelson-Creston.
“The programs delivered here will give the next generation of tradespeople the skills they need to participate in the jobs and economy of the future."
The total cost of the project was $23.2 million, with $13.63 million from the Government of British Columbia, $5.84 million from the Government of Canada's Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF), $2 million from Selkirk College and the remainder from industry partners and donors.
Investments through the Post-Secondary Institutions SIF are being used to modernize facilities at Canadian universities and colleges, as well as improving their energy efficiency and reducing their impact on the environment.
British Columbia has received $257 million through the SIF. Twenty public post-secondary institutions and one private First Nations institution in B.C. are benefiting from 30 individual projects throughout the province.
"We are excited to see this project come to completion and the benefits for students,” Santanna Hernandez, president, Selkirk College Students' Union -
“The Silver King Campus is a staple for trade students in our region and we are grateful they continue to have access to state-of-the-art training close to home. We're thankful to the Strategic Investment Fund, the B.C. government and our donors who helped to fund this campus renewal."
- Most of the trades training programs offered by Selkirk College are delivered at the Silver King Campus.
- The college serves more than10,000 students annually, with about 500 trades seats at the Silver King Campus.
- There is a growing demand for skilled trades workers throughout the province, with 71,000 job openings expected in the trades over the next decade.
Millwright/Machinist Program student Kai Roenspiess speaks to the audience attending the official opening on behalf of the many trades that will benefit from the new facility.