Bright Horizons News
Monday, Dec. 11, 2017
The future is looking bright for a new trades training hub in the North Okanagan after Okanagan College kicked off its fundraising campaign on Monday with the announcement of two major gifts.
Vernon philanthropist George Galbraith announced a $250,000 pledge to the Okanagan College Foundation’s Bright Horizons – Building for Skills campaign for the new Trades Training Centre at the Vernon campus. Immediately after, a second gift of $250,000 from Kal Tire was announced.
The $500,000 boost puts the Okanagan College Foundation well on its way to the campaign’s $1 million fundraising goal.
“It’s very rewarding to be a part of such an exciting initiative in our backyard,” says Galbraith, who is dedicating his gift and naming one of the trades shops in memory of his son Kieran.
Well-known in the community for his generosity, Galbraith sees his gift as an act of gratitude for the benefits he received raising a family and building a livelihood in the Okanagan. For him, it’s not about signing a cheque, it is about making a long-term investment in the future of the region. Galbraith hopes it will inspire others to contribute as well.
“The new centre will provide youth from our community the educational foundation and tools to be successful as they embark on their careers.”
The contribution from Kal Tire will see one of the new centre’s trades shops named for the company.
“We’re proud to support a new learning environment that will provide the highest quality trades training, and a promising career path for students,” says Robert Foord, President of Kal Tire. “This new centre will create a positive impact for our local economy and help keep qualified tradespeople in the North Okanagan.”
The two contributions will support the completion 13,450 square-foot state-of-the-art centre on the Vernon campus that will have the capacity to train approximately 150 students per year. The project is being supported through the federal government’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund. Through this fund, the province of B.C. is investing $2.9 million and the government of Canada has provided $2.7 million. The Okanagan College Foundation is fundraising for the remainder of the project cost and to provide program and student bursaries and scholarships that will help increase access to training.
Construction of the $6.2 million building is underway, with completion targeted for Spring 2018.
“Both George Galbraith and Kal Tire are renowned for their philanthropy and civic spirit,” says Jim Hamilton, president of Okanagan College. “Once again, they are supporting the community, this time through significant contributions to a leading-edge facility where Okanagan College students will train to become part of the solution to address the skills shortage in the province.”
At the launch event, the Okanagan College Foundation also announced a partnership with the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan (CFNO). According to Michael Tindall, Chair of the Bright Horizons Vernon campus campaign, the collaboration will give individuals and businesses the opportunity to make a donation to the campaign through the charity of their choice.
The first gift to the campaign was a $50,000 pledge from Vernon home building and renovation company Keith Construction, announced in May 2017.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Dahlen Family May 2017Ken and Karen Dahlen, owners of the custom home building and renovation company, are thrilled to be the first to contribute to the project as a way to demonstrate the company’s appreciation for its industry, employees and community.
“Our success over the years has come from multiple skilled tradespeople within our region,” says Keith Dahlen. “With a shortage of skilled trades, we believe the best way for the company to give back to our industry is by helping to provide quality training for the next generation.”
The $50,000 gift will support the construction of a new 13,450 square-foot state-of-the-art facility that will help address the province’s skills gap by training approximately 150 students per year for the workforce. The building will include multi-purpose trades shops for the College’s electrical, carpentry, plumbing and pipefitting programs, as well as a dedicated welding shop.
“This gift sends a powerful message to our students when an employer with an exemplary reputation in the community invests in their future,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “It represents the value the Dahlen family places on education and will be truly transformative for trades training in Vernon and the surrounding region.”
Keith Construction has employed several carpenter apprentices from the College’s program and Dahlen knows the benefits that a high-quality education brings to the industry – a value championed by the company’s founder, Keith Dahlen.
“This gift is a fitting way to honour my father and the emphasis he put on learning the proper skills in order to provide quality craftsmanship to our clients,” he says. “He taught me that if you are going to do a job, do it right or don’t do it at all.”
In 1990, Dahlen’s father, a certified journeyman carpenter with more than 25 years of industry experience already under his belt, founded Keith Construction in Vernon. The younger Dahlen and his wife Karen joined the company when they moved to the Okanagan in 1994 and have continued to build on the company’s reputation since Keith’s retirement. Keith Construction has won 21 Georgie Awards, 37 Tommie awards and was voted the 2016 Best Residential Renovation Company (North Okanagan) and 2016 Best Residential Builder (North Okanagan) by Okanagan Life Magazine.
Dahlen recently completed an educational milestone himself – he is one of four in the province who has achieved a Master Residential Builder designation.
At a recent client appreciation event hosted by Keith Construction, the support of the community was demonstrated when an additional $2,580 was raised for the training centre by event attendees.
“Our business has always been about building our clients’ dreams – no matter how big or small. Now we will get to help build the dreams of students,” adds Dahlen.
The $6.2 million-dollar training centre will be constructed by Maple Reinders Inc., a national engineering construction company, with support from MQN Architects, as well as CIMA+ and Encora. The project is being supported primarily through the federal government’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund. Through this fund, the province of B.C. is investing $2.9 million and the government of Canada has provided $2.7 million. Okanagan College will contribute the remainder of the project cost.
Construction is scheduled to begin later this month, with completion targeted for the spring of 2018. More information on the project can be found at okanagan.bc.ca/campaign.