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Camosun College MARCenTTS Funding Announcement

January 22, 2013
Victoria, British Columbia

Notes for an address by

The Honourable Lynne Yelich
Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification

Funding Announcement

Corresponding Documents: News Release

Check Against Delivery

Thank you, Tom [Roemer]. First, let me start by saying that it is a pleasure to be back on Vancouver Island today.

Before I share the good news, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge our partners, as well as my other fellow speakers: Camosun College President, Kathryn Laurin; and, Mark Keneford from Wärtsilä. I am very happy that we have the opportunity to come together to speak about this important project and its benefits.

The resource and advanced manufacturing industries are among the fastest growing segments of Western Canada's economy. This growth is clearly demonstrated by the increasing demand for skilled workers in the shipbuilding, aerospace, and resource industry sectors across the West. I doubt that it comes as much of a surprise to the guests here today that in British Columbia alone, a recent report forecasted the need for roughly 30,000 new skilled workers in the resource industries. This is great news for British Columbia, as we are planning ahead to address the shortage of skilled workers.

Our Government understands that it is critical to support opportunities that ensure the next generation of workers is trained and ready to prosper from the jobs that our growing industries have to offer. That's why it gives me great pleasure to announce today, that our Government, through Western Economic Diversification Canada,is investing over $2.5 million for Camosun College to provide specialized equipment and upgrade the electrical service for the new Marine, Aerospace and Resource Industry Centre for Training and Technology Support, also known as MARCenTTS [MAR-sents].

This funding will improve the college's Technology Access Centre which supports industry needs for advanced technology research and product development. Our funding for equipment and tools is truly crucial for the success of MARCenTTS [MAR-sents] and Camosun's trade programs. Equipment purchased will include overhead gantry cranes, welding equipment, a plasma cutting table, drill presses, electronic diesel engines, and a 100 ton press brake for bending sheet metal and heavy metal plates.This project will also increase the number of graduates from the college's trades program by 430 within five years.

These graduates will have the skills they need to pursue a career in valuable trades. Which also means, thanks to today's investment, Camosun College will ensure that companies have access to a local and highly-trained workforce. For the students here today, and the businesses who utilize the Technology Access Centre and hire these graduates, it means you will be in the best position possible to capitalize on jobs and growth.

Let me take a moment to note that this project is strategically aligned with Western Canada's Shipbuilding Action Plan. I was very proud to launch this Action Plan last February, and it focuses on:

  • Keeping western Canadian companies informed so that they can take full advantage of shipbuilding opportunities;
  • Showcasing the capabilities of Western Canadian industry; and,
  • Investing our money where it matters to ensure that Western Canada's shipbuilding industry remains strong and competitive.

Today's investment in MARCenTTS [MAR-sents] is a key part of our Plan.
Later today, we will be celebrating the official opening of the Industrial Marine Training and Applied Research Centre, or IMTARC, which WD also supported under our shipbuilding action plan. Both of these investments are crucial components to the future of shipbuilding related training on Vancouver Island. There is tremendous opportunity here for all of you—our local businesses, our skilled workers—for Western Canada.

When I look out at this crowd, I can't help but be excited for the West, for the opportunities that await us as a region; for the futures of our sons, daughters, and many others who choose a career in the trades. Together, we are ensuring the West remains strong, because a stronger West means a stronger Canada!

Thank you.