Okanagan College's New Building

The next generation of carpenters, plumbers, and electricians are stepping into a state-of-the-art new training space at Okanagan College this week.

The 2,700 square-foot facility is designed to simulate a real-world jobsite that will constantly change as new techniques, technologies and building materials emerge.

Stephen Fuhr, Kelowna-Lake Country Member of Parliament, visited the Kelowna campus on Tuesday to officially open the College’s new Trades Training House.  In March 2017, Fuhr helped the College break ground for the building after announcing $332,485 in support for the project from the Federal Government’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund.  The total cost for the project was approximately $1,060,000. The College received more than $384,000 in donations and gifts-in-kind toward the project. The College will contribute the remainder of the cost.

“Skilled tradespeople play a vital role in ensuring the economic prosperity of the Okanagan and communities across the country,” said Fuhr. “The Trades Training House is going to benefit students and our local employers looking for skilled workers for years to come.”

Plans are in the works to add a solar photovoltaic array to the roof to capture energy and provide a tool for the College to be able to offer training in solar panel installation, maintenance and repair in future.

Beyond future carpenters, plumbers and pipefitters and electricians, the facility will also serve students in the College’s Residential Construction, Sheet Metal Worker, Women in Trades Training and Aboriginal Gateway to the Building Trades programs.

“The beauty of the Trades Training House is that it will benefit students across so many programs and stages of training, while offering us the flexibility to offer new programming as industry needs change locally, across the province and beyond,” said Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College. “We’re immensely grateful to the Federal government for its investment in trades training at the College. I would also like to extend our gratitude to the many donors and industry partners who have stepped up with significant and varied contributions to help outfit the space.”

It is expected that more than 300 students will train in the facility per year.