Over $780,000 was received from the Province, and the amount was put towards purchasing and installing over 20 pieces of new equipment, from a hydraulic testing board for automotive to a Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) upgrade for the Sand Plant. Faculty and students identified the need for the upgrades, and through a formal funding request with industry support, Selkirk provided an itemized list to the provincial government outlining what was required.
“As a result of the Province’s investment, we can continue to provide our students with the tools they need to be successful in their education and their careers,” said Selkirk’s Dean of Instruction, Kate Pelletier. “This funding ensures our students are provided with the best possible learning experience in their program."
New Equipment Meets Industry Standards
The funding process included confirmation of the needs by local industry. The new equipment means students in the trades and apprentice programs are working with tools that meet industry standards and provide real-world, hands-on experience they can use in their careers, ensuring that Selkirk College graduates arrive on the job with current and desirable skills. “Hands-on is the only way to learn a trade,” said millwright/machinist student David Grevy. “Having access to the latest machine tools has given me the confidence I need to land that all-important apprenticeship.”
“Our students are thrilled and excited to be working on this modern equipment, giving them a tremendous advantage when they enter the job market,” said General Mechanics Instructor, Andy Gullen. “These acquisitions will ensure that Selkirk College remains a leader in industry-training, preparing and enabling students to become successful.”
The upgraded equipment will also allow the College to provide industry with custom training in equipment such as the PLCs.
Bringing the Trades and Apprentice Programs Into the 21st Century
The funding, which was designated for equipment and installation, was used to purchase a variety of items including high-end automotive diagnostic tools for today’s vehicles, milling machines, cooking units, a shear, heavy-duty commercial machinery, hydraulic units, machine motors, equipment for a mobile welding unit and an upgrade to the electric motor control lab. It was becoming increasingly difficult to find replacement parts for the older equipment and many items were becoming obsolete. In some cases, instructors and faculty spent labour-intensive time repairing the machines themselves.
“Not only does the new equipment save time, it means more efficiency in the shop and more learning,” said millwright/machinist student, Susan Buchanan. “Being a part of the installation process gave us the opportunity to put new skills to work as well.”
Building on Strategic Directions
“These investments have an immediate and very positive impact on our ability to provide students with current skills and education they need to be successful in their careers”, says Angus Graeme, President. Purchasing the new equipment and providing students with exceptional learning opportunities builds on Selkirk's strategic directions to increase enrolments, modernize infrastructure, and renew and expand programs and services for students and the community.
For more information, please contact Selkirk’s Dean of Instruction, Kate Pelletier at 250.354.3207.