Trades funding funneled into UFV heavy duty mechanics program

MLA John Martin announced funding as "significant investment" for trades training in B.C.

Chilliwack MLA John Martin speaks to a small crowd of UFV heavy duty mechanics students Friday afternoon

Chilliwack MLA John Martin speaks to a small crowd of UFV heavy duty mechanics students Friday afternoon

The heavy duty mechanics department at UFV can fill a heavy duty shopping list, following a funding announcement on Friday.

The provincial government handed out trades and technology funding last week, handing a cheque for $192,651 to the local trades school. That money will directly improve the heavy duty mechanics shop, through the purchase of new equipment.

Items to be purchased with the funding included an HVAC trainer, an engine rebuild stand, a 110-ton shop press, and diesel engines.

The heavy duty program is one of the faster growing programs at UFV, said John English, Dean of Applied and Technical Studies. The intake of students entering the program has doubled, he noted, which is also an indication that “our economy is doing well.”

The labour outlook is strong, Chilliwack MLA John Martin noted, with a million job opportunities by 2022.

“Many of these jobs need skilled workers,” he said. “The government is making significant investments to help British Columbians get the training they need for the these opportunities.”

Chilliwack-Hope MLA Laurie Throness also attended the funding announcement, calling UFV’s Trades and Technology Centre as a “premiere facility” within the province.

“And every time we make an announcement like this here, it makes this an even more attractive place to be,” he said. “It’s a snowball effect.”

The province is investing $185 million over three years in new trades training equipment and facilities to support students entering in-demand sectors, including LNG, shipbuilding and ship repairs and construction.

UFV President Mark Evered said the equipment will go a long way toward getting students ready for their future.

“The new equipment will provide hands-on learning opportunities needed to train students and to fill the demand for skilled trades people across the province,” he said.