The current generation of students needs to feel that the community is behind them and invested in their futures, says an Okanagan College alumnus whose donation is helping build a new learning environment at the College’s Kelowna campus.
Dale Lamb, President of D.K.L. Financial Services Inc., has donated $50,000 towards to the Bright Horizons Building for Skills campaign. Lamb’s support will help build a state-of-the-art classroom space in the new Trades Training Complex currently under renovation and expansion along KLO Road.
“Having called the Okanagan valley home for the past 36 years, I believe it’s important to give back locally,” says Lamb. “When I heard about the new trades facilities at Okanagan College and the way this space would elevate training to a whole new level for students in our community, I thought ‘What a great way to show my own children that giving back is important.
“I see this as an opportunity not just to support students, but also to inspire young people—and everyone in our community—that whether it’s a few dollars or thousands, by giving back and paying it forward, we can all have an impact.”
“The new trades training complex is going to help us be proactive in training new apprentices and staying out in front of the province-wide skills gap projected in the trades sector over the next decade,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “We sincerely appreciate Dale Lamb’s investment in our students’ futures with this generous donation and through his active involvement in mentorship at the College.”
There's one key set of tools that all trades students need but won’t find in a tool box, says Lamb: the tools to manage their money.
Which is why, in addition to making a donation toward the Building for Skills campaign, Lamb has also stepped up to sponsor a series of financial literacy and money management presentations for students. He notes that trades students especially, as they step into high-paying employment that often involves complicated contracts and work in and out-of-province, should learn a few key money management skills specific to their sector and type of employment.
“We have many clients who are tradespeople, so we understand the specific challenges and pitfalls they can face if they don’t have a solid understanding of how to manage their earnings right off the bat,” explains Lamb.
“We hope this series will be very informative for students and gets them excited about planning ahead for their futures as they step out into the workforce, or upgrade their skills at the College to take their careers to the next level.”
Lamb studied business at Okanagan College before pursuing a Bachelor of Arts with a focus on business economics and statistics at the University of Victoria. Over the past 20 years as an advisor affiliated with Sun Life Financial, and running his own brand D.K.L. Financial, Lamb has been a leader and one of the top performers in the financial field, not only in Canada, but also worldwide.
The Bright Horizons Building for Skills fundraising campaign for the $33-million complex renovation and expansion project launched in October 2014. The goal of the campaign is raise $5 million for capital construction costs and $2 million for program and student support. The provincial government has committed $28 million.
Okanagan College is currently the second largest trades training institution in BC. When completed in spring of 2016, the new complex will be one of the largest, most sustainable trades training facilities in Western Canada. To learn more about the campaign’s current needs and opportunities to get involved, please visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/campaign.