Canadians will be better equipped for the well-paying middle-class jobs of today and tomorrow with a $22.4 million investment at Vancouver Island University (VIU) to expand the Marine, Automotive and Trades Complex and create a District Geo-Exchange Energy System.

The joint federal-provincial investment was announced by Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and, Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell on behalf of Andrew Wilkinson, British Columbia Advanced Education Minister.

The Government of Canada’s Innovation Agenda aims to make Canada a global centre for innovation – one that creates jobs, drives growth across all industries and improves the lives of all Canadians. This investment is a prime example of that vision in action.

VIU’s Nanaimo Campus is receiving funding for two projects:

  • $10.6 million from the Government of Canada.
  • $9.5 million from the Province of British Columbia.
  • $2.3 million from Vancouver Island University.

The first project, the Marine, Automotive and Trades Complex expansion and redevelopment involves 2,014 square metres of new construction and 629 square metres of renovations. The work will improve and expand training spaces for in-demand trades programs that align with the needs of industries and employers. The expansion will increase capacity by 128 full-time equivalent spaces across the automotive, motorcycle, marine and carpentry programs. The expansion will add an Acceleration Discovery space, where faculty, students and industry can come together and focus on research and innovation, ensuring programs stay relevant and responsive to industry needs. The expansion and redevelopment of the Marine, Automotive and Trades Complex will create 77 direct and 47 indirect jobs. The total cost is $20 million:

  • $9.5 million provided by the Government of Canada.
  • $9.5 million provided by the Province of British Columbia.
  • $1 million provide by Vancouver Island University.

The second project will create a District Geo-Exchange Energy System, which will reduce the carbon output for heating and cooling at VIU’s Nanaimo campus by tapping into geothermal energy. The total cost is $2.4 million:

  • $1.1 million from the Government of Canada.
  • $1.3 million from Vancouver Island University.

Construction is expected to get underway in early 2017 and be substantially complete by spring 2018.

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The funding from the Government of Canada is being allocated through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, which will enhance and modernize research facilities on Canadian campuses and improve the environmental sustainability of these facilities.

As a result of these investments in VIU, the University’s students, instructors and researchers will work in state-of-the-art facilities that advance the country’s best applied research. They will collaborate in specially designed spaces that support lifelong learning and skills training. They will work in close proximity with industry and partners to turn discoveries into products or services. In the process, they will train for – and invent – the high-value jobs of the future. And their discoveries will plant the seeds for the next generation of innovators.

The Strategic Investment Fund will jump-start a circle of innovation, creating the right conditions for long-term growth that will yield benefits for generations to come.

The Province of British Columbia is directly investing $921 million in planned capital expenses in the post-secondary sector in B.C. over the next three years. The Province has invested more than $2.8 billion in capital and infrastructure projects at public post-secondary institutions in B.C. since 2001, with more than 1,750 capital projects throughout the province.

The expansion and redevelpoment of the Marine, Automotive and Trades complex supports the mandate and goals of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint.

 

image from flickr

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