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Two trades reignited by Quesnel renovations at College of New Caledonia

CNC has completed major building and tool upgrades to restart programs
The return of power engineering and welding programs to CNC Quesnel was made possible by major renovations to the learning space at that campus. (College of New Caledonia photo)

Major renovations at College of New Caledonia (CNC) Quesnel opens the doors for new training opportunities.

New Power Engineering 4th Class and Apprentice Welding programs will start up in 2024, thanks to these upgrades to the buildings and facilities at the Quesnel campus. These formerly available education streams are back.

“We’re thrilled to expand our trades offerings in Quesnel,” said Cindy Heitman, president of CNC. “Our top priority is making sure students get skills that directly translate into the workplace. Updated learning environments ensure students not only get the skills they need to earn their certificate, but also find long-term success in rewarding careers.”

Northern Health gave an example of how these students will be of direct benefit to the community.

“We are excited to see these trades return to the Quesnel campus,” said Al Rempel, maintenance supervisor at G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital. “With the increasing complexity of healthcare-related buildings and equipment, locally trained skilled professionals play an important part in delivering and maintaining health services in our community.”

Heitman said that according to the BC Labour Market Outlook, the province will need more than 1,400 new power engineers in the next 10 years.

“This expansion will help meet that need by ensuring power engineering graduates receive practical and technical training to work in environments like power generation plants, pulp mills, hospitals, refineries, breweries, and hockey arenas,” she said.

The expansion project at CNC Quesnel started in 2018. It included a new high-pressure steam boiler, an expanded computer simulation lab, a new welding lab, atrium, and additional yard space.

The B.C. government contributed $5.5-million to the renovations, with CNC providing the remaining $1.3-million.

“Training in Power Engineering 4th Class or welding is a valuable entry point for students looking for a long-lasting, good-paying career in the trades,” said Selina Robinson, the advanced education minister. “The expansion of trade offerings at the College of New Caledonia’s new trades wing will help grow B.C.’s vital skilled trades workforce and build a stronger B.C.”

Applications are now open for these two resurgent Quesnel programs.

The one-year Power Engineering 4th Class cohort begins in August and is open to high school graduates or those with equivalent experience.

Apprentice Welding begins almost right away, the cohort commencing in February, and is designed for welding apprentices who have an employer sponsor. Apprentices must have their employer register them with SkilledTradesBC and fill out the application online.

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Frank Peebles

About the Author: Frank Peebles

I started my career with Black Press Media fresh out of BCIT in 1994, as part of the startup of the Prince George Free Press, then editor of the Lakes District News.
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