Okanagan College Helps Fill Penticton’s Demand For Construction Workers

Opportunity: Residential Construction Boom in South Okanagan-Similkameen

  • Construction is slated to start in 2016 on a new 378-cell, $200 million Correctional Centre in Oliver (providing about 500 direct jobs and another 500 indirect jobs during construction, with a staff of 245 when complete) which will result in an influx of residents to the region.

  • There is an expectation that demand for residential property will grow in the South Okanagan-Similkameen.

  • The Penticton Indian Band (in concert with one of the region’s best-known and respected developers) are planning one of the most ambitious residential developments in the region.

  • This is at a time when there is an acknowledged shortage of carpenters in British Columbia.

Project: Skaha Hills Development

Employer: Greyback Developments Ltd. & the Penticton Indian Band Development Corporation
Value: $250 million

Greyback Developments Ltd. and the Penticton Indian Band Development Corporation announced the project, which will be located on a 550-acre site on the shores of Skaha Lake west of the Penticton. Groundbreaking is expected to take place in November, with sales to proceed in March of 2014.

The $250-million development consists of seven phases featuring approximately 600 homes, a golf course and winery. Additional spin-off benefits could include infrastructure and commercial building.

Labour Force Requirements

The Penticton Indian Band has estimated that this project could generate up to 1,500 jobs. Skilled workers, particularly those with experience in residential construction and carpentry will factor prominently in the pool of workers required.

Labour Force Training Opportunities

Okanagan Colleges’ Residential Construction Program provides students with the experience needed to help fill these positions. In fact, unique to this program, students actually construct an entire wood frame building, from the foundation to lock up stage as part of the course work.

Upon successful completion of the 30-week program, students will have their Level 1 technical training credit and 450 work-based hours toward their carpentry apprenticeship. Most important, they will have a solid foundation in residential construction and can start their career in the industry.

About Okanagan College

Region served: Thompson-Okanagan
Main industries: Agriculture and Tourism
Locations: Four major campuses: Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon and Salmon Arm
Campuses/learning centres: 14 (Revelstoke to Oliver)
Students served annually: 21,000+
Programs offered: A range of academic, vocational, trades, apprenticeship & continuing education programs / courses.

Okanagan College is the largest college outside the Lower Mainland, with the largest number of post-secondary students in the BC Interior and is one of BC’s largest trades training institutions. It offers approximately 140 different programs, including two baccalaureate degrees (Business Administration & Computer Information Systems). Through a host of program advisory committees and instructor and student activities, it is intimately connected with local industries and communities.

Okanagan College Media Contact:
Allan Coyle, Director of Communications
Tel: (250) 862-5413
Cell: (250) 317-3100

Media Contact BC Colleges:
Cindy Ball – 604-828-8050
Alix Cameron – 604-839-2770