North Island College Welcomes Melanie Mark to New Trades Training Facilities in Campbell River
NIC students shared their passion for the trades with Melanie Mark, BC’s Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, as she visited NIC’s new trades training facilities now under construction in Campbell River. “It’s really exciting for me to be back in Campbell River to visit with students and listen to them talk about their future possibilities,” said Mark. “Investments such as the new trades training facilities at North Island College will help educate and train a new generation of British Columbians. Pursuing a career in the trades is a great career choice for people who want a good-paying job, while helping us to build the best BC.”
Mark toured the Campbell River campus, enjoyed lunch catered by NIC Professional Cook students, then met with students in NIC’s culinary kitchens, practical nursing classroom, electrical, industrial automation shops. She also met students in a new Trades Sampler program, which in collaboration with the Campbell River School District exposes students to a broad range of trades over four months.
The Campbell River campus expansion will provide almost 10,000 sq. metres (105,000 sq. ft.) of new and renovated space. It will provide new spaces for Heavy Duty Mechanical and Aircraft Structures Technician students, provide new trades classroom spaces, a redesigned library and an updated Student Commons for students to study, relax and connect outside of the classroom.
“This expansion will transform the campus and provide enriched learning opportunities for students to learn and work in their own communities,” said NIC President John Bowman. “It is NIC’s largest facilities expansion project since opening the new Campbell River campus in 1997 and we want to thank the provincial government for investing in Campbell River’s future with us.”
The project will also include a new teaching kitchen, cafeteria and bistro facilities, student showers and a state of the art aquaculture lab for learning and applied research. All NIC students in Campbell River receive improved access to advisors, Elders, counsellors and student supports. It is funded through the Strategic Investment Fund, with $8.56 million from the provincial government, $5.76 million from the federal government and $3.3 million from NIC.
The British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) and the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills, and Training are raising awareness about construction careers during Construction and Skilled Trades Month this April.
Province-wide, the construction sector employs more than 200,000 workers, with 59,000 construction jobs expected to open up by 2027 due to retirements and industry growth. NIC students had an opportunity to meet with Melanie Mark, BC’s Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training on Monday, March 26 as she toured NIC’s new trades training facilities, under construction in Campbell River.
The ministry and construction association are working to diversify the industry. They recently announced a $1.8 million investment over the next two years to recruit, retain and advance women in the construction trades and raise the number of registered female apprentices in BC.