What's New at BC Colleges February 2014

Message from Jim Reed, President of BC Colleges

On Tuesday, February 18th the BC Government unveiled its 2014 Budget fulfilling the Liberal Government’s commitment to a balanced budget. This budget places a priority on the growth of the economy with a focus on realizing the government's strategy on LNG as well as jobs for British Columbians.

Budget 2014 places a clear emphasis on the applied education and skills training needs of the province. This is where our colleges excel. Our 11 member colleges play a vital role educating British Columbians with the advanced skills and education required to fill BC jobs now and in the future. Let’s not forget that the largest portion of predicted job openings, 42 per cent, will require college education or trades certification.

BC needs highly skilled and educated workers. This isn't new. Our colleges have been, and will continue to be, at the forefront of this challenge. It is of critical importance that our colleges produce the right number of highly educated and skilled workers, graduating at the right time and in the right place.  Matching the supply of talent with labour market demand is a significant issue facing our province and one that requires a collaborative approach between the entire post-secondary sector, BC communities, industry and government. We continue to look for innovative ways to align government investment to the growing advanced skills requirements of the province. I have no doubt that collaboration, partnership and innovative delivery models will be key success factors when it comes to meeting the estimated 1.1 million job openings predicted by 2020.

To that end, in this month alone, Selkirk College launched the BladeRunners program in Nakusp to provide forestry training for youth facing challenges getting training or employment. Two of our northern colleges, College of New Caledonia and Northwest Community College, teamed up with the BC Aboriginal Mine Training Association to offer Camp Cook training for Aboriginal students. Plus, Vancouver Community College just announced government funding for a new Motive Power Centre facility for heavy-duty transportation programs. This is just the tip of the iceberg. This type of partnership, collaboration and innovative programming development is happening with our colleges in every region of BC.

I hope you will take a few minutes to read about the accolades, projects, collaborations and announcements from our 11 member colleges during the past month. For a full list of this month's news, please check out  "In the News" on the BC Colleges’ website.  As always, I welcome your feedback, you can reach me by e-mail.


Jim Reed

College Of The Rockies Strengthens Brazilian Connection
College of the Rockies Media Release, February 18, 2014
College of the Rockies continues to create ties around the world. Brazil has been a country of interest for the College’s international department over recent years and the investment has paid off with faculty and students from Brazilian institutions now attending the College. Read more.

Okanagan College Launches An Award-winning Virtual Tour For Prospective Students
Okanagan College Media Release, February 17, 2014
Competing against hundreds of submissions from colleges and universities across North America, Okanagan College’s interactive video tour for prospective students won both gold and bronze medals at The Education Digital Marketing Awards. Read more.

BladeRunners Provides An Edge To Youth In Nakusp
Selkirk College Media Release, February 17, 2014
Providing youth the tools needed to get working in the forest industry is the aim of the BladeRunners Program in Nakusp that is finding hands-on success for partners and participants. The program—which is run through Selkirk College—provides technical and field training in entry-level forestry work to youth participants facing challenges getting training or employment. Read more.

Regional Skills Champions Crowned At Northern Lights College
Northern Lights College Media Release, February 7, 2014
More than 210 participants tested their skills during the Skills Canada Peace Region competition held on January 31 at the Dawson Creek Campus of Northern Lights College. The students, ranging from middle school to college graduate Apprentices from throughout the Peace Region and the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, completed projects in 15 different divisions, featuring eight different areas of specialization. Read more.

Record number of employers seek top performers at Camosun’s 2014 Trades and Technology Career Fair
Camosun College Media Release, February 1, 2014
January 30, 2014 saw 28 employers from the trades and technology sectors converge at Camosun’s Interurban campus to connect with around 1,500 grads and alumni looking to secure short and long term work. The wide range of exhibitors represented large and small businesses and while many were locally based, the career fair also drew recruiters from Alberta and the U.S. In the face of a looming skilled labour shortage, recruiters appealed directly to the students. “Camosun has a great trades program. It’s the best place to look for the best people.” Reg Gladstone, Skilled Trades Employment Program. Read more.

Northern BC Colleges Team Up With BC AMTA To Provide Camp Cook Training For Aboriginal Students
College of New Caledonia and Northwest Community College Media Release, January 31, 2014
British Columbia Aboriginal Mine Training Association (BC AMTA), the College of New Caledonia (CNC) and Northwest Community College’s School of Exploration and Mining (NWCC SEM) announced today that they are in the final stages of a partnership to deliver a Camp Cook Assistant training program specifically for BC AMTA’s Aboriginal candidates.  All three organizations work collaboratively to meet the needs of industry across the province and this program has been developed with input from Summit Camps, the primary industry partner in the program. Read more.

Seabridge Gold Inc. Donates $100,000 To NWCC
Northwest Community College Media Release, January 31, 2014 Northwest Community College (NWCC) has received a $100,000 donation from Seabridge Gold Inc. toward the delivery of the Intro to Trades 10 program. “Seabridge Gold’s generous donation demonstrates its continued support for students, who will be the future skilled workforce of Northwest BC,” said Denise Henning, President and CEO of NWCC. “This support further enhances high school students introduction and access to post-secondary education, offering them a pathway to quality training and a successful career in the trades.” Read more.

NIC and Immigrant Welcome Centre Partner To Aid New Canadians On The North Island
North Island College Media Release, January 28, 2014
Wonderful partnerships exist between the Immigrant Welcome Centre and NIC’s ESLSAP program, as both organizations work to welcome and prepare new immigrants for their new lives in Canada, and on the North Island. Read more.

New Vancouver Community College Training Facility
Vancouver Community College Media Release, January 27, 2014
Exciting news was announced for VCC’s heavy-duty commercial transport students. Government is providing $4.5-million to move heavy-duty transportation programs offered by Vancouver Community College (VCC) and BC Institute of Technology (BCIT) into a new Motive Power Centre on Annacis Island. Motive power programs train heavy-duty mechanics, transport trailer mechanics, diesel mechanics, commercial transportation mechanics, railway conductors and forklift operators. Read more. 

Langara’s Inaugural RMT Cohort Begins Classes
Langara College Media Release, January 21, 2014
Langara is pleased to welcome the inaugural cohort of the Registered Massage Therapy (RMT) Program, the first of its kind at a public post-secondary institution in British Columbia. Blending theory and practice, the two-year certificate program will offer unparalleled depth and a comprehensive approach to this profession. “We are delighted to welcome our first RMT class into the College,” said Linda Turner, Program Manager for Health and Human Services. “Their two-year journey to the professional designation of registered massage therapist is underway, and we look forward to their representing us within the healthcare system.” Read more.

Douglas College Celebrates New Sport Science Lab
Douglas College Media Release, January 21, 2014
A new Sport Science lab at Douglas College will help students gain hands-on experience using high-tech equipment to study athletes in motion. Created as part of an expansion of the Sport Science Department‘s facilities, the movement analysis lab is located in a newly renovated room on the New Westminster campus. The facility will provide students in both introductory and advanced Sport Science courses with a dedicated space to learn about and conduct research into biomechanics, the scientific analysis of human movement. The highlight of the lab is the force-plate system, a tool used to measure movements such as jumping or balancing by using sensitive panels embedded in the floor. Read more.

BC Colleges is a consortium representing BC’s 11 public, community colleges serving over 160,000 students annually with campuses in more than 60 communities throughout British Columbia. BC’s colleges offer a comprehensive range of programs from university studies and baccalaureate degrees to career, technical and trades education. All of BC’s colleges offer programs that are designed to be accessible, affordable and responsive to the evolving needs of BC communities and industry. For more information, visit our website.