Okanagan College Trades program ready to build new careers

Renewed confidence in the economy prompts demand for construction trades workers.

The economy is turning around and with this comes an increase in demand for trades professionals, said Randy Werger, Associate Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship at Okanagan College.

“We’re seeing the beginning signs of a renewed economy, which means the construction industry is going to be looking for workers. This is a cyclical industry making it perfect timing for extremely passionate students to get their training underway,” said Werger.

An information session for the college’s Residential Construction program takes place Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011, from 6-7 p.m. at the Penticton campus. all campuses offer the 30-week (900 hour) program, which begins in February. As part of the program, students will develop skills through hands-on experience with a community project.

“Adding practical understanding and practice within a supervised site allows students to build confidence,” said Werger. “Job site experience sets the Residential Construction program aside from others.”

The program covers a variety of skills including how to use power tools and other equipment used by residential framing technicians and carpenters.

“All housing built in conjunction with the program will be helping those in need within the community,” said Werger. Currently underway at the Penticton campus where students are building a cabin for project partners at the Agur Lake Camp. The cabin is expected to be in use in the summer of 2012.

Other recent projects by Residential Construction students include partnerships with Habitat for Humanity and the Armstrong Caravan Theatre.