A $5.5 million donation to the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) will allow the institute to create a high school trades program.
The generous donation was provided by the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, in conjunction with Season and Southern Railway of British Columbia.
The new program, called Trades Foundation for Youth Program, will see BCIT provide technical training at four high schools in Vancouver, Surrey, Coquitlam and Maple Ridge.
“I hear all the time that industry needs skilled trades people to meet workforce demands within the construction and marine sectors,” said B.C. Minister Brenda Bailey of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation.
“That’s why we are so appreciative of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation’s commitment to helping more young people get access to the training they need to get good jobs and a secure future here in B.C.”
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It is expected the new programs will directly impact 400 high school students over the next seven years, and those who complete the program will be able to work as apprentices.
“As the largest trades training provider in Western Canada, with programs in construction, mechanical, and transportation trades, BCIT provides opportunities to meet the learning needs of workers and the workforce of the employer,” said Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, BCIT’s president.
“The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Trades Foundation for Youth Program – Building Futures Together Initiative builds on BCIT’s collaborative relationships with K-12 school districts, helping us to ensure that young people gain the valuable skills training and education in the trades.”
The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation is the major philanthropic organization for The Washington Companies and the Washington Family.
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