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Builder of the year helping College build for the future
Okanagan College Media Release

A local homebuilder recently named Builder of the Year in the Okanagan says supporting young people entering the trades will be crucial to maintaining the valley’s reputation for offering well-built homes.Les Bellamy Feb 2016

Bellamy Homes has donated $30,000 toward the new Trades Training Complex at Okanagan College. The company’s donation will support the construction of a new social/study area for students in the renovated and expanded facilities at the College’s Kelowna campus.

Opening this spring, the new complex will accommodate more than 2,600 students, many of whom will study the trades that go into building homes, from carpentry to welding.

“I think it’s very important as industry leaders that we support and encourage young people getting into trades careers however we can,” says Les Bellamy, CEO and Owner of Bellamy Homes Inc. “To maintain the quality and craftsmanship that goes into building our homes and communities, the valley needs skilled tradespeople and the College is a key supplier of that workforce.”

The Kelowna-based c
ompany took home Builder of the Year, one of the top honours given out by the Canadian Home Builders Association at the 2016 Tommie Awards on January 30.

“We are very fortunate to have home builders in our surrounding communities who are committed to excellence,” says Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College. “We share that commitment and are honoured to have a local leader like Bellamy Homes working with us to enhance the learning environment for the next wave of skilled workers who will keep this important industry strong in the Okanagan and throughout BC.”

According to Bellamy, the College’s vision for elevating trades in the Okanagan was one of the factors that inspired him to support the expansion project.

“We have been serving the Kelowna area as home designers and builders for more than 20 years now, and can certainly attest to the value of formal training,” explains Bellamy.

“Looking forward to the next 20 years, the thousands of men and women who will train here are the ones who are going to be building our homes. We are proud to be a part of this project and a part of the future of the Okanagan.”

Okanagan College is currently B.C.’s second largest trades training institution.

When doors open this spring, the $33-million renovated and expanded complex will feature cutting-edge shops and classrooms, along with additional student study spaces such as the area supported by Bellamy Homes.

The provincial government has committed $28-million to the project. The Okanagan College Foundation launched the $7-million Bright Horizons Building for Skills Campaign in October 2014 to raise an additional $5-million for capital construction and $2-million for program and student support.

The valley’s home builders have contributed more than $500,000 to date, towards an overall goal of $1 million from this sector.

“Our local builders, just like our local automotive dealers, have stepped up in a big way throughout this campaign,” says Kathy Butler, Executive Director of the Okanagan College Foundation. “Education truly is the foundation for a better future. It means so much to students to see employers investing in their futures, and so we hope that builders throughout the Okanagan will be inspired to help us finish strong and finish the job.”

More information about the campaign and opportunities to get involved is available at
www.okanagan.bc.ca/campaign