What's New at BC Colleges January 2014

Message from Jim Reed, President of BC Colleges

Happy New Year! I hope you had a nice break and that you are back and ready to tackle the challenges and opportunities ahead in 2014. At BC Colleges we are looking forward to a productive and exciting year. This year we will continue to focus on providing the right highly skilled, job-ready graduates to meet the growing demand in BC during 2014 and beyond.

As we move forward, it’s vitally important that we match the students graduating from our institutions with labour market demand. This is not an easy task as it varies greatly by region and involves a high degree of co-ordination between Provincial and Federal governments, post-secondary institutions and employers.  BC’s colleges are committed to working closely with industry and communities to ensure local residents have the requisite education and skills necessary for our diversified and growing provincial economy. While difficult, our 11 member colleges are uniquely positioned to ensure this matching happens and that it happens efficiently. Our on-the-ground presence in more than 60 communities in BC means that we are closely involved with the timing and the types of skilled graduates needed by employers.

In this month alone, our colleges announced the approval of a new Trades and Innovation Facility at Camosun College on Vancouver Island, welcomed additional partners to further strengthen the Coastal Pathways Partnership in and around Prince Rupert and launched a new program at Selkirk College specifically developed for the ski industry. Each of these unique opportunities was possible given our real-time awareness of the needs and demands of BC communities and employers. During 2014 we will continue to find new ways to meet the growing demand for highly skilled labour in 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

Camosun's New Trades Facility Approved By Saanich
Camosun College Media Release, January 14, 2014
Camosun College received approval from Saanich Municipal Council last night, Monday, January 13, to move forward on the construction of its new $30 million Centre for Trades Education and Innovation at Interurban campus. Camosun is the largest provider of trades training on Vancouver Island and the second largest in BC. The college currently trains over 2,200 students each year in 20 different trades foundation and apprenticeship programs. Read more.

Fit For Snow Makes Winter Healthier For Ski Industry
Selkirk College Media Release, January 13, 2014
Selkirk College biology instructor Dr. Delia Roberts has put together a program aimed at cutting down the stress and strain put on ski industry employees during the winter months. The Fit for Snow program was developed after extensive research and has already produced proven results. Read more.

Exciting New Format For Peace Region Skills Competition
Northern Lights College Media Release, January 13, 2014
The annual Skills Canada Peace Region competition is undertaking an exciting new format for the 2014 event, utilizing the Aerospace Hangar at the Dawson Creek Campus of Northern Lights College as “Skills Central”. Many of the competition divisions (Post-Secondary and Secondary) will be held in the hangar, creating a similar atmosphere to the Provincial competition held in Abbotsford. Read more.  Read more.

Kelowna Man Cashes In Chips To Pursue His Dreams At Okanagan College
Okanagan College Media Release, January 9, 2014
After working at the Lake City Casino for 10 years as a slot attendant, David Brodie was ready for a change and looked to Okanagan College to make it happen. “I could have worked my way up at the casino, but with a young family at home, I wanted to find something that had more stability and opportunity for advancement,” says Brodie. Based on the recommendation of friends, Brodie began researching business programs at Okanagan College and enrolled in the Bachelor of Business Administration degree.  Read more.

College of the Rockies' Golden Campus Receives Special Visitor
College of the Rockies Media Release, January 9, 2014
College of the Rockies’ Golden campus had a very special visitor on Thursday, January 9 when Jamie McDonald stopped in to speak to students. McDonald, an adventurer from Gloucester, England, is running across Canada in an effort to raise money for children’s charities in his home country as well as children’s hospitals in Canada.  While at the campus, Jamie spoke to Adventure Tourism Business Operations and Adult Basic Education students about his journey and encouraged them to not limit themselves and to follow their dreams. Read more.

NIC’s Coastal Log Scaling Program Begins In February
North Island College Media Release, January 8, 2014
The Truck Loggers Association has generously donated six $1,000 bursaries to Coastal Log Scaling certificate students at North Island College this year. The full-time, 13-week program begins February 24 at NIC’s Campbell River campus. It is designed for students looking for an in-demand forestry career. Graduates are prepared to write the Ministry of Forests theoretical and practical Coastal Log Scaling exam, required to work as a licensed log scaler. Read more.

Safer Walk Program Resumes At Douglas College New Westminster Campus
Douglas College Media Release, January 8, 2014
Want some friendly company when you walk at night between the New Westminster campus and the SkyTrain station? For the Winter Semester, Douglas College is resuming its Safer Walk program for students and employees heading to the New Westminster SkyTrain station. From Monday to Friday, students and employees will be offered optional escorted trips to the station by a uniformed Security Officer. Read more. 

Vancouver Community College Attracting Ad-ttention
Vancouver Community College Media Release, January 7, 2014
These days, Vancouver Community College is attracting a lot of ad-ttention. VCC’s unique new advertising campaign, "Go ahead. Get skilled." and redesigned website won three accolades in the 2013 MarCom Awards, an international creative competition that recognizes outstanding achievement by marketing and communications professionals. Read more.

Open House for TARGET, JET And Adventure Seekers Programs At CNC
College of New Caledonia Media Release, January 7, 2014
People with learning disabilities, development disabilities, or barriers to employment are invited to the College of New Caledonia on January 31st for an open house. The Adventure Seekers program is designed for young adults aged 18 - 30 who have severe to moderate developmental disabilities who want to continue learning after high school. The TARGET program introduces students with developmental disabilities to the basic skills required for the world of work and the JET program prepares people with learning difficulties for entry-level positions in competitive employment. Read more.

Langara Instructor Honoured By United Nations Association Of Canada
Langara College Media Release, December 17, 2013
Langara is proud to announce that Indira Prahst, the College’s Chair of Sociology and Anthropology, has been recognized with the Renate Shearer Award by the United Nations Association of Canada and the BC Human Rights Coalition. Prahst was honoured at a ceremony on December 11 at Vancouver Community College commemorating the 65th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The award was presented in recognition of her “exemplary commitment as an advocate, activist, and educator on challenges related to intercultural and intergenerational issues in the South Asian community of British Columbia.” Read more.

New Partners Join Coastal Pathways Partnership
Northwest Community College Media Release, December 13, 2013
The first ever Prince Rupert based class of students from the Millwright program at Northwest Community College (NWCC) gathered with a large number of citizens and visitors at NWCC, Prince Rupert Campus on December 3, 2013 to celebrate the Coastal Pathways Partnership (CPP) and welcome its newest partner. The CPP was created to respond to the needs of industry and provide an opportunity for residents to benefit from locally delivered trades training. 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.