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New trades facility helps East Kootenay students build bright future

Dignitaries recently cut the ribbon on the new training facility at College of the Rockies. — Submitted photo

A new training facility at College of the Rockies will inspire future generations of electrical and industrial mechanic students to jump-start rewarding trades careers in their local communities.

The Patterson Hall trades training facility increases training capacity and accommodates new technology and equipment for students in the electrical and industrial mechanic (millwright) programs. Expanding the college's ability to provide the most current trades training will help meet growing industry demand for skilled workers in the region.

“We’re opening the doors to better training and more opportunities for students to help build the best B.C.,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, as the facility celebrated its official opening. “The new trades training facility in Cranbrook will better equip students with the skills and training that will give them good-paying, family-supporting careers in a range of industries.”

Funding for the $11.5-million building came from the Province of B.C., the Government of Canada’s Strategic Investment Fund, the Columbia Basin Trust, a private-sector donation from Teck, and the College of the Rockies.

“This once-in-a-generation investment by the Government of Canada positions Canada as a global centre for innovation,” said Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “It moves forward the government’s vision to make Canada a world leader in turning ideas into solutions, science into technologies, skills into jobs and startup companies into global successes. The Canadian economy can become globally competitive when we create conditions conducive to innovation and long-term growth, like this investment.”

David Walls, president, College of the Rockies said this new training facility will allow students to learn on the most cutting-edge technology, in the most supportive environment.

“We’re giving our students the best education and building up a skilled workforce that will serve the needs of our communities and industry partners,” he said.

The College of the Rockies is a Canadian public community college, located in the southeast corner of British Columbia, Canada. The main campus is in Cranbrook, with regional campuses in Creston, Fernie, Golden, Invermere and Kimberley.