May 1, 2014
The Construction Foundation of BC has distributed close to $50,000 to four local area high schools through its Project Shop Class initiative. The Prince George Construction Association hosted an evening reception in conjunction with their Heavy Metal Rocks event in the shop class wing of Prince George Secondary School where cheques were presented to College Heights, Kelly Road, Prince George and Dawson Creek Secondary Schools.
“These funds are coming directly from industry, confirming their commitment to invest in the future our youth,” remarked Rosalind Thorn, President of the Prince George Construction Association. “This is the type of collaborative initiative between industry and the schools that we need in Northern BC in order to open up access to new opportunities for our local students”.
Shane Kelly of Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines, major contributor to the initiative, was on hand to speak to a crowd of individuals from local schools, school districts, industry and businesses. “We are very pleased to be part of this worthy initiative. With the shortage of skilled workers that BC is facing we must encourage our youth to consider a career in the trades and having up to date equipment in shop classes mean schools can provide a stronger introduction to the trades,” noted Kelly.
Currently, only 1 in 32 BC high school graduates enter the trades and BC needs that number to be as high as 1 in 5 in order to address the estimated 30,500 skilled workers that BuildForce Canada estimates BC will be short by 2021. Project Shop Class and the Construction Foundation of BC aims to encourage British Columbians to develop practical skills and to encourage students to pursue careers in the skilled trades.
“We have heard clearly from BC students, parents, teachers, and construction employers that something needs to be done to improve the training experience in high schools”, noted Abigail Fulton, Executive Director of the Foundation. “This initiative aligns perfectly with the Foundation’s commitment to increasing awareness of the opportunities in our sector and helping to train the journeypersons BC needs for tomorrow.”
The Construction Foundation of BC is the charitable arm of the Construction Associations of BC: BC Construction Association, BCCA North, Southern Interior Construction Association, Vancouver Island Construction Association and the Vancouver Regional Construction Association.
For more information please contact: Abigail Fulton at (250) 857-2881 or visit www.projectshopclass.com.