Funding announced to further boost VIU's evolving trades programs

By Ian Holmes
April 3, 2018 - 4:37pm Updated: April 3, 2018 - 6:07pm

VIU heavy mechanics students Reuben Krull and Cody Blackmore and instructor Neil Taberner alongside an electronic cab simulator. Vancouver Island University

The VIU trades complex is starting to take shape. A view from Wakesiah Ave.Jenn McGarrigle/VIU

NANAIMO— Funding for new trades equipment at VIU's Nanaimo campus is the latest in a string of significant senior government cash infusions to overhaul the growing department.

VIU's dean of trades Glynis Steen told NanaimonNewsNOW the province announced $310,000 for several simulators to allow heavy mechanical students to diagnose and fix problems on a variety of machines. The funding is on top of $20 million in provincial and federal backing to redevelop and expand VIU's trades programs.

Steen said the latest funding and ongoing work to expand their trades offerings are big steps forward for VIU. She said crews are in the home stretch of paring down their trades buildings from three to two efficient and expanded facilities.

“The redevelopment and addition onto the heavy mechanical trades building, which is where our new marine building will be going, will be ready for our students in September of 2018.”

VIU's new-look automotive building, which includes a new apprenticeship shop, opened in September 2017.

“Our students are getting trained on state-of-the-art equipment, technology and better connection for them when they're employed in the industry.”

VIU reported the expansion to its trades program will increase student capacity by 128 full-time equivalent spaces.

$2.4 million from the $22.4 million trades announcement made in December 2016 went toward a District Geo-Exchange Energy System for heating and cooling the Nanaimo VIU campus.

That project is currently under construction.


[email protected]

On Twitter: @reporterholmes

Despite rainy forecast, water restrictions now in effect across Nanaimo region