December 26, 2014 - 2:27 PM
KELOWNA - A local auto dealer sees bright futures for students in Okanagan College’s trades programs, prompting the company to invest in the $33-million Trades Training Complex at the College’s Kelowna Campus to help make those futures a reality.
Okanagan Chrysler Jeep Dodge has pledged $100,000 to the Okanagan College Foundation for the $7-Million Bright Horizons Building for Skills campaign that supports the expansion and renewal of the trades complex.
“Having run Okanagan Dodge for the past 12 years, and having seen the way Kelowna has embraced my business in that time, I began looking for a way to give back to the community that would truly have an impact,” says Dean McAuley, Dealer Principal for Okanagan Chrysler Jeep Dodge. “When I heard about the campaign for the new trades training complex, and after I learned more about the facility and the opportunities it will provide for students, I knew it was the right fit.”
The donation will go towards automotive shop space where students gain job-ready skills with state of the art equipment and technology.
“I have Okanagan College graduates in my shop now. These young tradespeople are the wave of the future,” says McAuley.
“With a province-wide skills gap looming, Okanagan Dodge’s commitment is an example of industry stepping forward to help us meet that need,” says Jim Hamilton, President, Okanagan College. “It is encouraging to see such strong support for trades training – and a clear demand for trades workers – in our own region. We are grateful for their investment in our students’ futures.”
This donation is one of several from the local automotive industry. Members of the Kelowna Auto Dealers Association were among the first to donate towards the new Trades Training Complex at the Kelowna Campus when the campaign was announced earlier this year.
“We in the industry know there is a shortage of trained automotive tradespeople projected in the coming years and we have to be proactive,” says Adam Rich, Auto Sector Chair of the Bright Horizons Campaign committee. “Supporting the training of new apprentices is investing in the health and growth of the industry for the future. The new trades training complex will be a hub for trades education in B.C., as one of the largest most sustainable facilities in the province.”
The $7-million campaign, which includes $5 million for capital costs and an additional $2 million for student and program support, will help complete the $33-million project. The complex is expected to be completed in the spring of 2016.
The Bright Horizons campaign launched in October to raise funds and awareness for the Trades Training Complex at the Kelowna Campus of Okanagan College. The new facility will provide students with a state of the art learning environment and reflect Okanagan College’s commitment to sustainability. To learn more about the campaign and opportunities to be involved in shaping the future of Okanagan College, please visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/campaign. Okanagan College is the second-largest trades training institution in B.C.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014