Bartle & Gibson Co. Ltd. is contributing $37,500 to the Bright Horizons - Building for Skills fundraising campaign for the new trades complex on the Kelowna campus.
The Canadian-owned plumbing, heating and electrical products distributor announced the gift at the grand opening of their new location in West Kelowna on Nov. 3. Bartle & Gibson President Robert Whitty was in town to present the cheque to Steve Moores, Okanagan College’s Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship.
“Bartle & Gibson is proud to make an investment in the training and education of the industry’s future electricians and plumbers,” says Whitty.
The company’s contribution to the $35-million trades complex, which officially opened in Sept. 2016, is two-fold. A cash donation will support the tool room that serves the Electrician program’s three labs. The company has also pledged an in-kind donation to provide products, tools and equipment to electrical and plumbing and piping trades students.
Launched in 2006, the College’s Electrician program is the most popular trades program in terms of enrolment, with approximately 700 full-time equivalent foundation and apprenticeship students per year, with training at all four campuses and through a partnership at Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in Merritt.
“We are very grateful for this generous gift to our students, programs and facility,” explains Moores. “When a well-respected company like Bartle & Gibson makes the choice to invest in skills training, it instills confidence in our students knowing the industry supports their educational choices.”
Founded in 1944, Bartle & Gibson originally launched with stores in Vancouver and Victoria and has expanded to 30 branches. Their first Okanagan store opened in West Kelowna in 1997, followed by a Kelowna location in 2006. After more than 20 years in the region, their highly-anticipated new space combines the two branches into a single 35,000 square-foot building located at Hwy. 97 and Stevens Rd.
“Our customers, manufacturers and employees have helped us grow our footprint in the Okanagan,” adds Whitty. “Investing in the region is our way of thanking them and showing our commitment to the region today and well into the future through our partnership with the College.”
About the Kelowna Trades Complex
The three-year, $35-million Trades Complex project involved a 10,000 sq. metre renovation and expansion that included building a new three-story learning space and state-of-the-art workshops as well as retrofitting and environmentally upgrading existing facilities. In keeping with the College’s commitment to sustainability, the facility was built with the goal to be certified LEED Platinum and achieve net zero energy usage. The project took home gold at the 25th Tommie awards, winning the award for Best Environmental Initiative at the Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Okanagan Chapter Awards Gala in Jan. 2017.
For more information: http://www.okanagan.bc.ca/Campus_and_Community/employees/publicaffairs/news.html?BlogEntryID=38616
Source: “News.” Generosity continues to flow for College's Trades Complex, www.okanagan.bc.ca/Campus_and_Community/employees/publicaffairs/news.html?BlogEntryID=38616.