Forestry Sector Contributes $2.5M Towards BCIT’s New Trades and Technology Complex

Burnaby, B.C.British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) today announced a $2.5 million contribution from forestry sector leaders to its INSPIRE Campaign which will benefit students in more than 20 trades and technology programs that are critical for the future growth of BC’s globally renowned forestry sector.

A collection of forestry organizations including Canfor, West Fraser, Tolko, Hampton Lumber, Mosaic Forest Management, Paper Excellence, and Binational Softwood Lumber Council have come together to invest in trades programs through the new BCIT Trades and Technology Complex (TTC), made possible with funding from the Province of BC and industry partners. The TTC will include spaces that inspire integrated learning and facilitate inter-trade collaboration. It will also add training capacity for hundreds of new full and part-time student spots annually, helping to meet the growing demand for skilled trades professionals in BC over the next 10 years.

BC’s forestry industry employs thousands of skilled workers—from engineers and millwrights to forest technicians and data scientists. The transformed learning environment and renewal of programs will bring together students from both trades and technologies as well as bachelor’s and master’s degree programs into the same building promoting practical knowledge transfer.

Since the 1980s, BC’s forestry partners have helped build and shape BCIT as a leader in transformational applied learning enabling students’ academic pursuits. This donation will further support BCIT students, help future-proof the BC economy, and champion innovation in the forestry sector for a sustainable future.

The Trades and Technology Complex will be a major economic stimulus. The various projects will employ a wide range of construction trades and specialists in the design, project management, and technology sectors. The project’s capital value of $220 million is estimated to generate between 950 and 1,175 direct jobs with an equivalent number of indirect jobs.

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Paper Excellence, headquartered in British Columbia, is a diversified manufacturer of pulp and specialty, printing, writing, and packaging papers. The company operates seven mills and a large-scale cargo distribution centre in Canada producing and shipping over 2.8 million tonnes annually with a workforce of more than 2,400. Paper Excellence is poised to continue to grow with its strategy of operational excellence and high-quality, cost-effective products.