STAFF WRITER – The Ottawa Construction News
Algonquin College will add two new electrical labs in 2017 with space for 120 apprentices, and a new welding lab in 2018 supporting multiple apprenticeship programs, thanks to $4.6 million in Apprenticeship Enhancement Funding (AEF) from the Ontario government.
Ontario Energy Minister and Ottawa West-Nepean MPP Bob Chiarelli announced the funding March 11 at Algonquin College’s Centre for Construction Excellence (ACCE). Apprenticeship funds were also announced for the Ontario Industrial and Finishing Skills Centre, and LiUNA Local 527.
“Ottawa has many exciting construction projects underway in the coming years, including light rail, and this investment will help ensure Ontario’s future workforce has the skills and training for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Chiarelli. “This investment will help support the almost one in five new jobs in the province that are expected to be created in the trades in the coming decade.”
“Our government always talks about the importance of Building Ontario Up, and our talented skilled tradespeople are literally doing that in every corner of our province, including in Ottawa,” added Reza Moridi, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. “Ontario’s apprenticeship training system, supported by employers, colleges and unions, is a crucial part of our plan to build the highly skilled workforce we need to compete, and I’m proud that we are supporting so many projects that will bring new equipment and high demand training programs to the local markets that need it.”
“I am very proud of the students at Algonquin College, and I know I speak for the entire college community when I say we are very grateful for the province’s investment in our students. And, I would add, this is really an investment in the future of our community,” said college president Cheryl Jensen. “We are forging a new path in the training of the workers of tomorrow; workers who will keep our city and province at the forefront of innovation.”
The new labs will include the latest state of the art equipment, while supporting growth in apprenticeship enrollment and completion at Algonquin College. The electrical labs will be added onto the ACCE, while the welding lab will be an addition to the college’s automotive building. Construction on the new labs will begin this summer.