Owners of some of the most established Central Okanagan businesses focused on the trades are now adding their weight to support the new $33-million Trades Training Complex under construction at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus.
Representatives from companies as diverse as automotive dealers to steel fabricators have joined the Okanagan College Foundation’s volunteer campaign team, Campaign Chair Dennis Gabelhouse announced today.
“We wanted to find experienced industry leaders who are committed to elevating trades careers in this region, and we found them,” Gabelhouse said. “Over the decades many hundreds of Okanagan College’s trades students have worked in their shops so this group knows precisely how important it is to have skilled trades people – especially ones they can count on locally.”
Joining the team as sector chairs, alongside Okanagan College instructors, are:
Methal Abougoush (Owner and General Manager, Boyd Autobody & Glass)
Hugo Cookson (General Manager, Cookson Motors Ltd.)
Brian Crowley (Branch Manager, PrairieCoast Equipment)
Jason Friesen (Vice President, Voyager RV)
Graeme Jenkins (Manager, Enterprise Steel Fabricators Ltd.)
Oscar Krueger (Owner, Krueger Electrical Ltd.)
Adam Rich (General Manager, Sentes Automotive-Lexus of Kelowna)
Cordelle Rich (General Manager, Sentes Automotive-Kelowna Infiniti Nissan)
Debbie Robert (Retired co-owner, L. Robert Enterprises Ltd.)
Patrick Waunch (President and CEO, Rambow Mechanical Ltd.)
Gord Wilson (Owner and President, TEAM Construction Management Ltd.)
Steve Moores, Okanagan College’s Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship, said trades instructors are also taking a keen interest in the project, and have joined their business counterparts in the effort to create this new complex.
“These instructors are on committees tasked with designing new shops, labs, and classrooms to ensure our students and apprentices will have the very best learning environment once this complex opens,” Moores said.
Joining the team in their instructor capacity are: Corey Bransfield (Automotive Service), Alf Leimert (Carpentry), John Euloth (Collision Repair), Tom Stapleton (Electrical), Doug Noble (Heavy Duty/Commercial Transport Mechanics), Brad Oliver (Plumbing/Mechanical), Alan Cohoe (Retired from Recreational Vehicle Service) and Dean Nutter (Welding).
Last week, Okanagan College unveiled its plans for the new Complex, which is scheduled to open in the spring of 2016 with room for 2,400 trades students. The B.C. government has committed $28-million towards the project, and the Okanagan College Foundation is raising an additional $5-million in capital, plus $2-million for student and program support to complete the project.
More information about the Okanagan College Foundation is available on their website at www.okanagancollegefoundation.ca or call 1-888-650-6968.