Trades Students Gain Modern Advantage

Columbia Basin Trust is supporting Selkirk College and College of the Rockies to undertake projects that enhance student experience.

2 minute read

In the bustling shop spaces on Selkirk College’s Silver King Campus, students training towards a career in trades are benefitting from a partnership with Columbia Basin Trust.

Committed to building and enhancing the local workforce through post-secondary education, the Trust is supporting Selkirk College and College of the Rockies to undertake projects that enhance student experience. The funding enables the colleges to improve programs and services and acquire equipment that might otherwise be out of reach.

The latest addition to the Metal Fabricator Foundation Program shop at the Silver King Campus was made possible through the Trust funding. A state-of-the-art press brake has been installed in the program’s shop, allowing learners access to industrial equipment that mirrors what they will work on in their chosen trade.    

“This piece of equipment has features that will definitely help student learning,” says Lawrence Zaytsoff, an instructor in both the Metal Fabricator Foundation Program and the Welding Program. “This modern technology provides the highest level of safety for students and gives instructors the opportunity to advance teaching that is beneficial to program outcomes.”

The Metal Fabricator Foundation Program provides 23 weeks of education and training on the Nelson-based Silver King Campus. The first step in a Red Seal trade that is associated with manufacturing, forestry, oil and gas, mining, construction and transportation, graduates can find employment as an apprentice in a variety of fabrication projects such as buildings, bridges, ships and heavy equipment.

“Supporting students in the Columbia Basin helps them shape their careers in meaningful ways, join the workforce that keeps local businesses and economies vibrant, and contribute to the region’s communities,” said Patrick Checknita, Community Liaison, Columbia Basin Trust. “Our partnership with the colleges has resulted in tangible benefits like this press brake at Selkirk College, which will have hands-on impacts that the students will carry into their professional lives.”

Learn more about Selkirk College’s School of Industry & Trades Training.

The new Accurpress press brake in the Metal Fabricator Foundation Program delivers the latest heavy industrial equipment technology for both safety and purpose. Purchased with funds provided by Columbia Basin Trust, the press brake helps gives students career-ready training and education on Selkirk College’s Silver King Campus in Nelson. A recent demo of the equipment included: (L-R) Lawrence Zaytsoff (program instructor), Rob Schwarzer (chair of the School of Industry & Trades Training), Tracy Punchard (school dean), Patrick Checknita (Columbia Basin Trust community liaison), Kalista Lightburn (student) and Chance Marion (student).

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