$33M for new BCIT Trades and Technology Complex

The new addition to the Burnaby campus will help meet demand for 85,000 anticipated additional jobs in the skilled trades required in B.C. over the next decade.

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BCIT has announced a milestone $33 million in funding towards a new state-of-the-art Trades and Technology Complex at its Burnaby campus. The facility will increase access for students in fields like welding, power engineering, and others, which will help B.C. meet the demand for an estimated 85,000 new trades jobs expected over the next 10 years. It will also help the province to retain such talent, which has proven tricky due to factors like industrial land shortages.

Blueprint: The Trades and Technology Complex will allow BCIT to offer significantly more in-person teaching and increase delivery of immersive training for specialized areas, including mass timber construction and net-zero buildings. It will also increase capacity for designing and delivering effective online training through simulation labs and sophisticated technology-enabled classrooms. Through the Complex, BCIT says it will continue to champion equitable and accessible trades education for all students, prioritizing inclusive learning environments.

Features for advancing education through the Trades and Technology Complex will include four covered work yards, simulation-based learning areas, a power engineering sim lab, and maker spaces, as well as multiple other industry-specific training labs.

The $220 million facility will have capacity for 700 new full-time student spots annually, which BCIT says will alleviate waitlists, and deliver the trades training needed to meet the labour needs of the province. The Complex will also serve as a living lab where students from different disciplines – such as engineering, architecture, and construction – interact, collaborate, and undertake projects together.

Invoice: More than 45 B.C. industry leaders and individuals across a range of sectors, including development, electrical, engineering, mining, and forestry, contributed funds to help build the new development through BCIT’s INSPIRE Campaign, the largest fundraising campaign in the institute’s history. Donors include organizations such as Concert Properties, Bosa Construction, Wesgroup, Wheaton Precious Metals, Polygon Homes, and more. Donor participation in this project has included financial support as well as involvement in the development of programming to directly meet industry needs.

BCIT says that the INSPIRE Campaign aims to raise a total of $125 million in private-sector contributions, which, together with Government of B.C. funding, supports the long-term redevelopment plan for the BCIT Burnaby Campus valued at over $680 million.

Notes: “The generosity and support of donors has made this incredible project possible and ensured continued strength in BCIT’s unique offering,” said BCIT President Dr. Jeff Zabudsky. “As the only BC 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.”

“The BCIT curriculum is developed in close consultation with industry, and delivered by faculty with direct, hands-on experience in their fields,” said the dean of the BCIT School of Construction and the Environment, Dr. Guido Wimmers. “The BCIT INSPIRE Campaign will allow us to continue to lead in providing applied learning opportunities. 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.”

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