PRINCE GEORGE – More extensive renovations to accommodate industry-standard equipment will ensure power-engineering students at the College of New Caledonia can access up-to-date equipment and facilities.
“It’s critical that our students get to work on the same type of equipment in the classroom that they will use when they are out in the workplace,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Expanding the facility in Quesnel will give power-engineering students access to state-of-the-art equipment, as well as improved classroom and lab space in their local community.”
Work to accommodate a new high-pressure steam boiler and facility expansion at the college was first announced in 2017 at a cost of $3.8 million, including $1.3 million for a new boiler.
The project scope has been increased to include an expanded computer simulation lab, a new welding lab, a new atrium and additional yard space. As a result, the cost of the project has increased to $5 million.
“These provincially funded equipment upgrades and lab expansions at CNC will provide Quesnel’s post-secondary students with the hands-on skills and knowledge needed to become first-rate power engineers,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “As the provincial workforce continues to specialize, your government is making the investments necessary so people can access good-paying jobs in their communities.”
The power-engineering certification program at the Quesnel campus graduates 16 students every year, who go on to work in areas such as power plants in sawmills, pulp mills and hospitals.
“We are delighted with the updated facility for students on our Quesnel campus,” said Henry Reiser, president of CNC. “When this expansion is completed, the new training spaces and new boiler will provide students seeking a future in the trades with a top training destination – something CNC prides itself on.”
Construction is expected to get underway in summer 2018, with completion slated for summer 2019.
“The College of New Caledonia is an excellent community partner,” said Bob Simpson, mayor of Quesnel. “The provincial government’s investments in upgrading the campus in Quesnel will ensure future generations of students get the skills needed by a range of employers in the region and throughout the North.”
“It really helps us to retain our own students,” Simpson added.
“And it helps us attract individuals into our community at a time when Quesnel has a few challenges with respect to mountain pine beetle, last years wild fires and because of flooding.”
Due to the extent of the necessary renovations, the program has been suspended until September 2019. Quesnel students will be given priority at the Prince George campus power-engineering intake in 2018.
Installation of a bigger pressure boiler and associated equipment is needed to meet Class 4 power-engineering training required by the Power Engineering, Boilers, Pressure Vessel and Refrigeration Safety Regulation under the Safety Standards Act.
Over 1,330 job openings for power engineers are expected by 2027.
The $5-million investment at the CNC Quesnel campus is part of the Budget 2018, which includes a direct investment of $1.2 billion over the next three years by the Province in capital upgrades and new facilities in the post-secondary sector.