Project Shop Class is the first fundraising campaign of the Construction Foundation of BC. Our aim is to encourage British Columbians to develop practical skills and to encourage students to pursue careers in the skilled trades.

Project Shop Class is a fundraising campaign with the overall goal to rebuild and refit shop classes in BC schools.

Initially started after conducting research into current gaps and needs in the apprenticeship and industry training environment, the Construction Foundation of BC chose to take action to rebuild high school shop class in BC. Our initial round of fundraising enabled us to distribute over $3 million in grants for shop class equipment across the province.

With the potential for a significant number of large resource and infrastructure projects to get underway in the northern part of the province, coupled with an aging workforce, we could well be facing critical shortages of skilled tradespeople in the very near future. As problematic as this may be, with challenges come great opportunities and this will include a significant number of well-paying jobs and careers in the construction industry.

To ensure that British Columbians have maximum access to such opportunities, we need to allow our youth to appreciate and become engaged in the pursuit of a trade as a first career choice, not a last one. The government of BC has demonstrated their understanding of the need to support trades training and is actively working toward increasing awareness of the trades option in secondary schools across the province. At the same time, the industry recognizes the need to partner with secondary schools across the province to continue to boost that awareness.

It is industry’s belief that outfitting shops with state of the art equipment and supporting centres of excellence that are already doing great work training young people for the trades is the right way for us to help increase that awareness and produce the journeypersons we need for tomorrow. The Construction Foundation seeks to not only support schools/school districts in their work but also to strengthen relationships between industry and secondary schools into the future.

Visit our Project Shop Class Giving page for full details.

A small fee is allocated from each donation to enable us to accept credit card donations online and cover our administrative costs.

We have carefully negotiated in order to keep these costs as low as possible in order to ensure as many dollars as possible can be allocated to our recipient schools.
Donation by cheque is suggested for larger donations.

For donations over $25, yes, absolutely. These should be automatically generated and sent to you via email for all online donations via credit card. For donations submitted via cheque, a tax receipt will be mailed or emailed to you (depending on what you’ve indicated in our communications and what is noted in your mailed cheque).

If you donated and did not receive a tax receipt, please contact us at with information such as: donor name, contact information, donation amount, intended school/recipient, date, time. This will help us to track down where any issues are with the automated tax receipting system.

The Construction Foundation of BC is the charitable organization behind Project Shop Class. The Advisory Committee is a group of construction professionals who provide advice and counsel to the Construction Foundation of BC.

From December 2013 until January 31, 2014, the Construction Foundation of BC received 89 completed applications from interested BC schools and school districts who wished to receive grant funding to refit and support shop classes and improve trades training in BC schools.  Two applicants submitted separate requests for separate classrooms within the same school, which have been combined here, and another opted out, leaving us with 86 active applications.

During our initial round of grant-making, over 60 grants were given totaling just over $3,000,000.

This is an ongoing fundraiser; as such, grant amounts will be distributed at the end of a fundraising phase.

Please note that the focus for this initiative is to support construction-oriented skills and trades training.

The Foundation identified that they would primarily like to assist schools and districts who could demonstrate an active, collaborative approach with post-secondary training providers and industry and/or who could demonstrate a desire and capacity to develop new and innovative approaches to increasing participation in shop/trades training in their school. The Foundation indicated that it is prepared to initially provide grants for equipment, facility upgrades, and installations which will support the School/Districts long-term strategy for shop/trades training. The equipment and/or required support may be located at the secondary school, or, where such collaboration exists, at a post-secondary institute or training delivery facility which provides training on behalf of the school. New program development and/or staffing support may be considered where funding requests are reasonable and it can be clearly identified as assisting in a long-term strategy to increase participation in shop/trades training for high school students.

The following requests were made in the applications for Project Shop Class grant funding. Additional photos and documentation were requested, but optional.

  • Does the School/District currently have a trades training strategy?
  • Have the current shop/trades training programs grown over the past 5 years?
  • Is the current shop/trades training being offered, attached to accepted Industry training programs that lead to a career in the trades?
  • Is there a collaborative relationship (or a strong desire for) with industry and recognized post-secondary training providers?
  • Is the training being provided or anticipated to be provided in line with provincial labour market demand for the trades?
  • Does the School/District have the capacity to deliver the training with certified staff and maintain the equipment in a sustainable manner?
  • What is the current commitment to trades training delivery?
  • Is the School/District able to fund its needs (staffing, coordination, materials, tools, equipment, consumables) from other sources (i.e., existing industry relationships, government grants) to offer provincially recognized trades training programs?
  • Is the School/District interested in innovative and creative approaches to increasing shop/trades training?

Yes.  The Foundation will permit schools to apply for future phases of funding, as long as the new application sufficiently justifies the additional required funds.

No.  Grant monies awarded will be contingent on funds available for distribution, and the discretion of the Board of Directors.  However, the applications which identified specific equipment and activities are generally the first to be approved.


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