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Province of British Columbia
For Immediate Release
March 24, 2017
Ministry of Advanced Education
Construction begins for new heavy mechanical trades building at CNC

PRINCE GEORGE – The College of New Caledonia (CNC) officially began work today for a new $15-million Heavy Mechanical Trades Training facility at its Prince George campus.

The 2,326-square-metre (approximately 25,000-square-feet) trades facility will replace leased facilities and accommodate 251 existing full-time equivalent (FTE) spaces and up to 48 new student FTEs in the heavy-duty equipment technician and truck and transport mechanics program. The new facility will provide up-to-date facilities for students to develop the skills they will need for high-demand jobs.

Investments in this $15-million project include:

  • $6.9 million from the Government of Canada.
  • $6.9 million from the B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education.
  • $1.2 million from the College of New Caledonia.

The funding from the Government of Canada is being allocated through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, which will enhance and modernize research facilities on Canadian campuses and improve the environmental sustainability of these facilities. The Strategic Investment Fund will jump-start a virtuous circle of innovation, creating the right conditions for long-term growth that will yield benefits for generations to come.

The total investment in the Province of British Columbia through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund is $668.5 million including:

  • $253.5 million from the Government of Canada.
  • $269 million from the Province of British Columbia.
  • $146 million from post-secondary institutions and donors.

Completion of the new heavy mechanical trades training facility is expected in the spring of 2018. Construction of the new facility is expected to generate 53 direct and 41 indirect jobs for the region.

The B.C. government is making record investments in modern, safe infrastructure projects across the province, and in doing so, these construction projects are creating high-paying, family-supporting jobs.

Nearly one million job openings are expected in B.C. over the next decade, and eight out of 10 of these openings will require post-secondary education. In-demand occupations requiring post-secondary education or training range from professional to management to trades.

Funding for new and improved trades training facilities is one of the key ways the B.C. government is taking action to strengthen, grow and diversify rural communities. Funding for post-secondary infrastructure builds on the immediate investments and long-term action plan outlined in B.C.’s Rural Economic Development Strategy that are expected to create over 26,000 jobs and add $2.8 billion to provincial GDP.


The Hon. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“This historic investment by the Government of Canada is a down payment on the government’s vision to position Canada as a global centre for innovation. That means making Canada a world leader in turning ideas into solutions, science into technologies, skills into jobs and start-up companies into global successes. This investment in the College of New Caledonia will create conditions that are conducive to innovation and long-term growth, which will in turn keep the Canadian economy globally competitive.”

Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, and MLA for Prince George-Valemount

“The 2025 Labour Market Outlook forecasts up to one million job openings in B.C. Many of them will be the result of retirements and labour market demand. Investing in training in our region is critical to keeping talent in northern British Columbia. CNC’s new heavy-mechanical trades-training facility will prepare our workforce with the skills they need to access jobs that support their families and meet the future labour market demands in Northern B.C.”

Mike Morris, MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie, on behalf of Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson

“CNC’s new heavy mechanical trades training facility will give students the skills to be first in line for in-demand careers in the trades. British Columbia’s strong and growing economy is enabling us to make targeted infrastructure investments in our post-secondary institutions.”

Henry Reiser, president, College of New Caledonia

“For nearly 50 years, CNC has played an integral role in developing the workforce in northern B.C. The college has a history of working collaboratively with our partners in government, and local and regional members of industry to determine training needs. Our tailored training programs enable students to develop skills they need to secure well-paying jobs that support our communities. ”

Frank Rossi, dean, School of Trades and Technologies, College of New Caledonia

“CNC and its School of Trades and Technologies have responded to the demand by increasing the heavy duty mechanics and truck and transport mechanics programs as the need for skilled workers has grown significantly. CNC works with industries and employers to determine what skills they need their employees to bring to the job site also to ensure that our programs and facilities remain relevant. Our new heavy mechanical trades training facility will enable faculty and students to develop practical, hands-on skills that match employers’ needs, in state-of-the-art facilities.”

Connor Cameron, student, heavy mechanical trades at College of New Caledonia

“Student excitement around this new facility is building.  Many of us are looking forward to learning in a brand new facility. Accessing state-of-the art equipment and tools will help students be job ready upon graduation.”

Quick facts:

  • The Government of Canada’s Innovation Agenda is designed to ensure Canada is globally competitive in promoting research, translating ideas into new products and services, accelerating business growth and propelling entrepreneurs from the start-up phase to international success.
  • The targeted, short-term investments under the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund will promote economic activity across Canada and help Canada’s universities and colleges develop highly skilled workers, act as engines of discovery, and collaborate on innovations that help Canadian companies compete and grow internationally.
  • The Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund supports the Government of Canada’s climate change objectives by encouraging sustainable and green infrastructure projects.
  • As part of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, the provincial government has provided the College of New Caledonia with an additional $755,679 for 168 critical trades seats and $3.1 million for new industry standard training equipment, as well as $200,000 for training and initiatives to increase the success of persons with disabilities.
  • The new heavy-mechanical trades-training facility is part of the commitment by the provincial government to invest $185 million in trades-training facilities and equipment throughout the province as outlined in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint.

Learn More:

Canada’s Innovation Agenda:

Innovation Agenda backgrounder:

Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund:

Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund backgrounder:

B.C. Skills for Jobs Blueprint:

Follow Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development on social media: Twitter: @MinisterISED

Follow BC Jobs Plan on Twitter: @BCJobsPlan

Media Contacts:
Pauline Tam
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
343 291-2500
Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
343 291-1777
Alyson Gourley-Cramer
Executive Director, Communication Services
College of New Caledonia
Office: 250 561-5881
Cell: 250 961-5366
Alison Antrobus
Ministry of Advanced Education
250 356-8706
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: