The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) will soon get a new state-of-the-art trades and technology complex that will help improve educational opportunities and job placement for the trades in the province, thanks to $33 million in funding.
On Tuesday, Sept. 19, the Burnaby post-secondary school unveiled the number through its inspire campaign from more than 45 donors towards a new trades and technology complex, which is expected to increase access for students pursuing careers in the field.
The construction of the new complex will also help the province meet the increasing demand for new trades jobs over the next decade.
According to a news release, the demand for trades jobs is estimated at more than 85,000.
"The generosity and support of donors has made this incredible project possible and ensured continued strength in BCIT's unique offering," said BCIT president Jeff Zabudsky in a statement.
"As the only B.C. post-secondary with a provincial mandate for strategic workforce development, BCIT connects education, industry, and government in support of building an agile workforce with sustained and meaningful impact to meet the labour market needs of today and tomorrow."
In addition to having a sustainable, energy-efficient design, the $220-million trades and technology complex will also have the capacity for 700 new full-time student spots annually.
This will alleviate waitlists and deliver trades training needed to meet the labour needs of the province.
It will also allow the educational institute to offer more in-person training and increase delivery of immersive training for specialized areas, including mass timber construction and net-zero buildings.
Advancing education through the Trades and Technology Complex will include:
- Four covered work yards
- Simulation-based learning areas
- Cross-disciplinary sim labs for trades and technology collaboration
- Power engineering sim lab–Kongsberg system
- Welding simulation lab
- Industrial network sim lab–industry partnership space
- Media centre lab–for remote/ online/ narrowcasting education delivery
- Maker space
- Classrooms, student commons, demonstration, observation, auxiliary and atrium spaces
Donors across a range of sectors, including development, electrical, engineering, mining and forestry, contributed funds through the campaign, the largest fundraiser in BCIT's history, according to the news release.
The campaign aims to raise a total of $125 million in private-sector contributions; combined with B.C. government's funding will support the long-term redevelopment plan for the BCIT Burnaby Campus valued at over $680 million, the release noted.
Key spaces within the complex will include the Concert Properties Centre for Trades and Technology, the Robert Bosa Carpentry Pavilion, and the Marine and Mass Timber Workshop.
"The BCIT Inspire campaign will allow us to continue to lead in providing applied learning opportunities," said Guido Wimmers, dean of the school of construction and the environment.
"BCIT students learn through practical experience in unique environments that integrate real-world settings, equipment, and technology from the workplace. These include state-of-the-art classrooms, shops, labs, simulators, broadcast studios, green roofs, energy grids, forests, and waterways."