What's New at BC Colleges: November 16, 2011
Message from Jim Reed - President, BC Colleges
It's a busy time of year for BC Colleges. A number of our members are on the Trade Mission to China with Premier Christy Clark, many are preparing for the shipbuilding boom and all of our institutions are ramping up to educate the job-ready workforce needed to fill the more than 1 million job opening during the coming decade - 75% of which will require some form of post-secondary education. And, BC Colleges is preparing to work with the provincial government to help facilitate regional workforce tables as outlined in the Premier's recent BC Jobs Plan. These workforce tables are being established to help identify the education and training requirements for regional labour markets.
Additionally, many of our colleges are completing and opening facilities funded by the Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP). Many of you may not be aware of the huge impact that KIP has made on education in BC. In British Columbia, the Knowledge Infrastructure Program funded 42 projects with $237,411,500 coming from federal sources and another $296,502,769 coming from provincial and other funding sources. Of these 42 projects, 17 were at BC’s 11 public colleges.
Highlights from the program include, capital improvements at all 11 of BC's colleges. Additionally there were some significant capital investments made through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program that positively impact colleges’ ability to provide the advanced skills and training necessary to meet the job demands of the future. Some examples of these investments include:
At the College of New Caledonia the Knowledge Infrastructure Program helped to fund the construction of two new buildings, one in Quesnel and the other in Prince George. At the Quesnel campus, the new building will help to expand and diversify skilled trades programs including: welding, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, power engineer, agro-forestry, horticulture and animal science. Additionally, the new building uses geothermal technology to heat and cool the buildings. In Prince George, the $19.7-million Technical Education Centre (TEC) accommodates 800 student spaces annually and houses Red Seal trades and other technical programs including: welding, machinist, industrial mechanic/millwright, auto collision repair, plumbing, engineering technology, mining technician, and others. The Prince George TEC building has eight shops, 11 classrooms four computer labs, communal student lounge as well as garden and courtyard landscaping. The building uses solar technology to heat the domestic hot water and features one of the first green landscaped roofs in northern BC.
Northern Lights College where the Prime Minister was recently on hand to open the new Centre of Excellence for Clean Energy Technology funded through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program. The new Centre will enable the college to train additional students in the fields of healthcare and clean energy. This will help to address the growing national demand for nurses and provide trained professionals to help drive Canada’s burgeoning clean energy industry.
At Okanagan College's Penticton campus, a new Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation has been opened thanks to the Knowledge Infrastructure Program and is known as one of the world's greenest buildings. The innovative features of the building will be used as a teaching tool to help train the next generation of tradespeople in green construction practices, with the goal to nurture a growing high-tech, green focused industry for the South Okanagan-Similkameen region.
The Smithers campus of Northwest Community College received over $8 million in funding from the Knowledge Infrastructure Program plus an additional $8 million from the provincial government for campus renewal and expansion. This investment will allow the college to address trades shortages in the region by providing more efficient and functional facilities, reducing greenhouse gas emissions via its LEED Platinum certification and enhancing the overall learning environment for all students.
At North Island College a new Skills Development and Trades Training Facility was built with support from the Knowledge Infrastructure Program. As the first LEED certified building in the region, the new Trades Training Centre will provide training and retraining for displaced resource industry workers in the mid-island.
The Knowledge Infrastructure Program, while providing significant short-term economic stimulus to communities across the country, has allowed BC’s colleges to make much needed capital improvements and in some cases significant capital investments in new or improved training facilities. These investments are critical for BC’s colleges to ensure future labour market demands are met. With investment from both the federal and provincial governments, BC’s colleges can continue to provide students with the advanced skills and education that employers and the labour market demand both now and in the future. This investment pays dividends for communities across our province and the rest of Canada.
Read on to learn more about the projects, collaborations and announcements from our 11 member colleges. For a full list of this month's news please check out "In the News" at the BC Colleges website. As always, I welcome your feedback, you can reach me by e-mail.
Jim Reed President, BC Colleges
North Island College Formalizes Partnership in China
North Island College Media Release, November 10, 2011
Camp exposes career opportunities and learning to high schoolers
Northwest Community College Media Release, November 10, 2011
Douglas College joins B.C. premier on Asian trade mission
Douglas College Media Release, November 8, 2011
Governments launch initiative to help students in trades succeed in business
Northern Lights Media Release, November 5, 2011
CNC opens Med Rad lab, raises $71,000 for endowment fund
College of New Caledonia Media Release, November 3, 2011
Okanagan College Welding program buoys up Oliver
Okanagan College Media Release, November 01, 2011
COTR students win scholarships
College of the Rockies Media Release, October 31, 2011
Award for Developer of Langara’s Sustainable Heating and Cooling System
Langara College Media Release, October 31, 2011
Camosun ready for shipbuilding industry
Camosun College Media Release, October 24, 2011
VCC offers new pathway for arts students to earn a degree
Vancouver Community College Media Release, October 18, 2011
Arts-minded students now have the option to begin their studies at VCC then apply to transfer to the university level to earn their Bachelor of Performing Arts. The degree-completion pathway is ideal for those who plan to earn or have already completed post-secondary credits in disciplines such as music and dance. Read more.
Selkirk College Hosts A Conversation On B.C. Forests
Selkirk College Media Release, November 14, 2011
Selkirk College and its School of Environment and Geomatics invites the public to attend a community dialogue on B.C. forest management as part of the Healthy Forests- Healthy Communities initiative on Thursday December 1 (9:00– 12:00 pm). Community dialogue sessions will be held across the province to constructively explore the expressed needs of concerned citizens, helping to determine if current management practices enable local forests to satisfy their public purpose. A wide range of knowledgeable forest leaders are raising concerns about the future of B.C.’s forests and the potential impact on families and communities. Read more.
BC Colleges is a consortium representing BC’s 11 public, community colleges serving more than 200,000 students annually with campuses in close to 70 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 .