KOOTENAY, B.C. — A new training facility at the College of the Rockies officially opened its doors recently, giving future electrical and industrial mechanic students a place to further hone their skills.
According to a release from the province, the Patterson Hall trades training facility increases training capacity and incorporates new technology and equipment for students in the electrical and millwright programs.
Funding for the $11.5-million building came from the Province of B.C., the Government of Canada’s Strategic Investment Fund, the Columbia Basin Trust, a private-sector donation from Teck and the College of the Rockies.
“I really appreciate how the trades training I received at the College of the Rockies has opened up new opportunities for me,” said Sara Weech, an electrician apprenticeship student at College of the Rockies, in a statement. “I now have a job that I love and one that is a perfect fit for me personally. It’s great that more students will be able to attend trades training in this new facility.”
Gary Herman, CEO of the Industry Training Authority, added, “equipping our apprentices with a modern training space with the latest technology is a sure way to prepare British Columbians with the right skills and knowledge for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”
Patterson Hall is named after college founder James Patterson and his legacy of trades training and post-secondary education in the region. Patterson was a local miner and school board member, whose vision for a vocational school in the East Kootenays led to the opening of College of the Rockies more than 40 years ago, a release reads.