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CNC offering industrial mechanical course at Vanderhoof campus

Course will train students on their way to becoming become millwrights and machinists
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The College of New Caledonia's Vanderhoof campus, which opened in 2021, is offering an industrial mechanical program which begins in February.

Demand for qualified students trained in industrial mechanics as millwrights and machinists is expected to create nearly 2,800 job openings over the next decade.

To try to meet those labour market needs, the College of New Caledonia is starting a new program at its Vanderhoof campus that begins in February which will make the industrial mechanics program more accessible to students living in the region.  

The program will give graduating students the skills they need to sign on with an employer to begin an apprenticeship.

Patrick Baker,  a former Canfor millwright who went through the program himself as a CNC student, is the instructor for the course. Baker studied to become a secondary school instructor before he earned his millwright credentials.

“One thing certified millwrights do is we mentor apprentices, and I’ve been doing that sine I got certified,” Baker said. “Teaching is a natural next step.

“Before now, everyone from Vanderhoof and the outlying towns in the area had to travel to Prince George to be trained. Now we have this beautiful campus that I was able to set up from the ground up, so I’m very vested in this.”

The six-month industrial mechanical course is the first of CNC’s trades foundation programs to be set up in Vanderhoof. Students will learn how to maintain, install and repair industrial equipment and how to safely use lathes, milling machines, grinders and other tools used in the industry. The course will be a steppingstone to apprenticeships and more training at the college until students earn Red Seal Certification.

“Now’s the time to pursue a trade,” said Baker. “There are going to be plenty of opportunities in the end and there are many specialty routes you can take after you become a tradesman. The industrial mechanic program covers so many aspects of trade, so it will open a lot of doors.”

Program fees for the course are about $3,000. Click here for more information.

The Vanderhoof campus opened in 2021, joining CNC’s family of satellite campuses in Fort St. James, Burns Lake, Mackenzie and Quesnel. The course will be also offered in Quesnel in the spring and at the Prince George campus next fall.

“We’re excited to have this opportunity to bring industrial mechanic training to Vanderhoof and to make the most of our campus in the community,” said CNC vice-president academic, Dr. Chad Thompson.

“Access to education is a key part of CNC’s plans to open doors for learners and help create exciting futures alongside them.”

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