$75,000 boost for trades

FortisBC has made a $75,000 donation to fuel trades training at Okanagan College.

The utility donated $50,000 toward a new natural gas lab in the plumbing shop, and an additional $25,000 will go toward the carpentry and sustainable construction management technology program.

“This partnership is a great fit for FortisBC, as Okanagan College trains students that could one day become our employees," said Fortis director of operations Barry Smithson.

The new lab will be utilized by students across the piping trades, and will allow the college to deliver all four levels of its new steamfitter/pipefitter apprenticeship program.

More than 1,100 openings are projected in the trade over the next eight years across B.C.

“This donation is already having a direct impact on students," said Steve Moores, the college’s dean of trades and apprenticeship. "The new lab provides us with a state-of-the-art space to deliver the latest training.”

Fortis contributed equipment for the lab and assisted with installation while providing a chance for hands-on learning for students.

Over the past five years, the college has trained more than 1,200 students in the plumbing/pipefitting and refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic programs. 

The second donation will allow the college to purchase two calibrated blower doors to be used for training and testing. The doors demonstrate to students how different wall assemblies and construction techniques can reduce energy consumption by preventing air leakage. 

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