Durham College leads the way in skilled trades and technology training with new facility
Whitby, Ontario, April 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — On April 21, Durham College (DC) welcomed donors, community partners, employees and guests to experience the grand opening of the Ontario Power Generation Centre for Skilled Trades and Technology (CSTT). Located at the Whitby campus, the 60,000-square-foot facility is home to numerous specialized labs and shops, which will allow DC to increase its industrial skilled trades training capacity in Whitby by 750 students.
Given the skilled labour shortage at the regional, provincial and national level, this project could not come at a better time, with Colleges Ontario forecasting that by 2030 the province will face a shortage of more than 500,000 workers in the skilled trades.
The milestone grand opening event featured tours of the CSTT; an Indigenous blessing given by Senator Cecile Wagar from the Oshawa and Durham Métis Council; an official ribbon cutting; and remarks from individuals representing DC students, alumni, employees and local community partners.
“This incredible new facility will help bring student success to life, creating opportunities to advance innovation and knowledge and providing a career launchpad for the next generation of skilled tradespeople,” said Don Lovisa, president, DC. “The generosity and support from our community is an investment in our collective success and our students’ futures, and core not only to the successful completion of this building but to the entire revitalization of the Whitby campus as we continue to lead the way in transformative education.”
Partnering with DC to help fund the expansion is Ontario Power Generation (OPG), whose name adorns the front of the CSTT to honour and recognize the deep-rooted partnership the two organization enjoy and acknowledge OPG’s long-standing support of both DC and its students over the last 20 years.
“Support from community partners like Ontario Power Generation makes an incredible difference at DC by helping to enhance our programs and facilities and providing access to industry expertise and experiential learning opportunities for our students to advance their skills,” said Linda Flynn, associate vice-president, Office of Development and Alumni Affairs and executive director, Durham College Foundation. “Seeing this building come together through the collaborative effort of so many is an incredible feeling, and we are proud of the role it plays in the success of our students and the Region.”
“This state-of-the-art facility is just the latest in Ontario Power Generations’ decades’-long partnership with Durham College,” said Subo Sinnathamby, senior vice president, Nuclear Refurbishment, OPG. “This partnership helps educate and train career-ready graduates to build a diverse population of potential employees for the energy sector in skilled trades and STEM. Now more than ever, we need skilled, talented and qualified graduates to support our current and future operational and project needs.”
In less than three years, the DC Building for Skills campaign has raised $9.5 million toward the $10 million in community support required to fully fund the $35 million project, which includes generous funding from the Region of Durham, the Town of Whitby and the Durham College Student Association (DCSA), in addition to donations and gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations. Fundraising activities continue in an effort to close the gap, with an aim to complete the campaign this spring.
To read more about the CSTT, please visit www.durhamcollege.ca/skills.
ABOUT DURHAM COLLEGE
With campuses in Oshawa and Whitby, Durham College (DC) offers over 11,400 full-time students access to more than 140 post-secondary programs, including four honours bachelor degrees and nine apprenticeship programs.
DC enables students to develop career-ready skills for the ever-changing job market by providing an exceptional college education. With a focus on experiential learning, led by expert faculty, through field placements, applied research, co-ops and other hands-on opportunities, DC grads are known for having the skills and knowledge employers need.
At the Oshawa campus, the Centre for Collaborative Education brings together local, Indigenous and global communities, featuring the Durham College Spa, Global Classroom and interprofessional simulation and anatomy labs. The campus is also home to four of the college’s applied research centres, including the AI Hub, Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation, Mixed Reality Capture Studio and Social Impact Hub. Additionally, the flexible, fully automated, and industrial-grade Integrated Manufacturing Centre serves as a model of the new standards in advanced manufacturing, mechatronics and engineering education.
At DC’s Whitby campus, the new 60,000-square-foot Ontario Power Generation Centre for Skilled Trades and Technology shines a spotlight on industrial skilled trades training, innovation and education, and includes a double-height shop lab, new classrooms and student touchdown spaces, among other features. The campus also features the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food, which is home to the award-winning full-service restaurant, Bistro ’67; retail store, Pantry, featuring food grown and prepared by students; and the Barrett Centre of Innovation in Sustainable Urban Agriculture and its community-inspired urban farm.