Ship building contract could make waves locally: UFV

University of the Fraser Valley, Seaspan Marine Corporation, federal government ship building contract, Harv McCullough

A multi-billion dollar ship-building contract has Harv McCullough’s eyes twinkling.

Last week, the federal government announced that Seaspan Marine Corporation, a Vancouver-based shipyard, had won an $8 billion ship-building contract to build non-combat navy and coast guard vessels.

McCullough, advisor to the president of the University of the Fraser Valley, said the contract will not only benefit UFV, but also the Chilliwack community.

“A lot of people look at this and see the obvious: welders are needed to build a ship and we offer welding programs,” said McCullough. “But there’s a huge spinoff.”

Billions of dollars are being injected into the provincial economy, and with that come new jobs and opportunity.

In a news release issued by Seaspan, the corporation expects 4,000 new jobs to be created over the next eight years as a result of the contract.

“You have to look at the global picture as to how this spinoff is going to affect the entire province,” said McCullough.

“It’s not just about trades and technology. The community now has an opportunity to become employed in a new area, in well-paid jobs… and smaller, local companies will be able to pick up sub contracts for piece work. So now they begin to grow thanks to one large contract.

“We have to keep our eyes on the opportunities that come along.”

The challenge for UFV, however, is that while it offers a wealth of trades and technology courses suitable for this kind of work, the university is currently operating overcapacity.

Its numbers cannot increase without additional funding.

“We have to watch now for one-time funding opportunities to come long,” said McCullough. “We are poised to access any kind of special training funding that may come available.

“It’s going to be quite a ride and we’re definitely up for the challenge.”

kbartel@theprogress.com

twitter.com/schoolscribe33

Just Posted

RCMP use helicopter and police dog to search for suspect on Sts’ailes First Nation

Man known to police fled an allegedly stolen vehicle and firearm on the reserve north of Chilliwack

Stay safe on the rivers of Chilliwack and don’t become a statistic, says swift water expert

Chilliwack Search and Rescue is putting out a safety message just in time for the summer season

Psychics, drones being used to search for missing Chilliwack woman with dementia

Volunteers pulling out all the stop to try to find Grace Baranyk, 86

Family of Chilliwack pilot killed in Honduras crash creates memorial scholarship fund

Parents, sister of Patrick Forseth fundraising to pay to send aspiring pilots to flight school

COLUMN: Search for Grace shows community’s true nature

As Chilliwack searches for missing woman, a writer looks back 61 years at a similar story

Rents in most Canadian cities are unaffordable for lower-income earners: study

Roughly one-third of households, or 4.7 million, are renters

Rare white ravens spotted again on Vancouver Island

Nature photographer Mike Yip said mysterious birds back in Coombs area

B.C. government seeks advice on reviving Interior forest industry

Public website opens as meetings start with community leaders

Missing Vancouver Island woman believed to be on mainland

Rhonda Stevenson, 43, last seen July 13 in central Nanaimo

Missing Greater Victoria man last seen in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Jonah Donato, 40, travelled to the mainland in June

B.C. mom to go to Europe court in hopes of getting alleged abducted daughter back

Tasha Brown alleges her estranged wife abducted their daughter Kaydance Etchells in 2016

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Scheer on Trump: It’s ‘offensive’ to question the family background of critics

Trump is being called a racist for saying that the four congresswomen should go back where they came from

Most Read