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Renowned wine blogger launches SOMM3 film in Kelowna
Okanagan College Media Release

Madeline Puckette Oct 2018One of the top social media influencers in North America’s wine industry will be at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus on November 12, 2018 to launch
SOMM3, the latest edition of the cult wine film series.

Madeline Puckette, author and illustrator of Wine Folly’s blog and books, was recently ranked just behind Decanter magazine by Social Vignerons (an online hub for wine industry news) for her influence on social media. With her popular illustrations and distilled wine information, Puckette’s graphical educational tools make it easy for anyone to learn about wine.

Puckette narrated
SOMM3, a provocative wine film featuring Decanter editor Steven Spurrier, renowned master sommelier Fred Dame, and wine critic Jancis Robinson.

The original
SOMM is the most viewed wine film on Netflix to date. Okanagan wine lovers will be able to catch a sneak peak of SOMM3 in the OC Kelowna campus lecture theatre on November 12. Guests can enjoy wine tastings starting at 6 p.m.; the film screening will commence at 7 p.m. The film isn’t yet available online.

Local social enterprise Start Fresh Kitchen is hosting the
SOMM3 film release party, which will include a book signing with Puckette, garagiste wine tasting and local small bites direct from the Start Fresh Farm.  

“The film release is a great opportunity for our culinary and wine community to come together and geek out about wine,” states chef Micheal Buffet, owner of Start Fresh Kitchen.

“Okanagan College is proud to sponsor this event and bring
SOMM3 to the Okanagan, because the wine industry is of critical importance to the communities we serve,” states Jonathan Rouse, Director of Food, Wine and Tourism at Okanagan College. “It’s important to reflect on our industry’s history to shape the future of wine.”

Tickets are available online at StartFreshKitchen.ca
 (head to the Calendar to find the event). Tickets are $38 each and include film admission, wine tastings and small bites. Learn more on the Facebook event page.

Proceeds from the evening will benefit Start Fresh’s culinary and farming employment projects.

 

College helping job seekers get social media savvy at Career Fair
Okanagan College Media Release

Education? Check. Practical experience? Check. LinkedIn profile?

Okanagan College Co-op Employment Co-ordinator Tanya Tarlit is encouraging students and job seekers to set the right tone with their online presence, as employers shift from reviewing just resumes to combing the internet for candidate information.

“LinkedIn is an easy way for employers to take a quick snapshot of you,” Tarlit explains. “Once they have your resume, they will search for you on LinkedIn to see if you have additional experience or, even better, recommendations on your page endorsing you for specific skills.”

Tarlit is one of several job-search experts scheduled to present on Nov. 4 during the 37th annual Career Fair, the yearly open house for current Okanagan College students to meet employers and gain important skills to make informed decisions about the future.

Her presentation will offer tips and tricks for creating an all-star LinkedIn profile, including pitfalls to avoid. “Make sure your profile is filled out, that you have done all the areas that need to be completed. If someone has a sparse profile, it can lead to questions about whether you have the experience listed on your resume,” she says.

“You need to make sure your picture is professional, and it is just you in the photo. Employers can’t tell you from a group of people.”

As a bonus, students who attend the workshops can have professional headshots taken before or after the presentation for free to add extra polish to your new LinkedIn profile. Photos will be first-come, first-served between 12-1 p.m. and 2-3 p.m. in the E Building 2nd floor lobby (outside E202).

According to B.C.’s Labour Market Outlook, the Thompson-Okanagan region will need 91,190 workers for new and replacement positions in the next 10 years, with over 16,000 required for the health-care sector between hospitals, nursing, residential care facilities and ambulatory health-care services. The Okanagan occupations with the largest number of job openings will be nurse assistants (2,800) and registered nurses/psychiatric nurses (2,320).

Those considering careers in health care would do well to start building online profiles. “LinkedIn is used in certain disciplines more than others. When I attend the Interior Health Authority’s information sessions, LinkedIn is one of the go-to’s that recruiters use when considering applicants,” she adds.

Career Fair gives students a chance to connect with employers and get an inkling about their direction, plus get set up for success with a series of valuable job-search workshops:

  • Resume and Interview Keys to Success: Amy Rauscher from Vantage Living Inc. will give an overview of simple things students can do to stand out and secure the job of their dreams. Session runs at 11 a.m. in Room E202.
  • Careers in Cannabis: Dr. Lyle Oberg from The Flowr Corporation will discuss careers and opportunities in cannabis. Session starts at noon in Room E202.
  • How to Create an All-Star LinkedIn Profile: Tanya Tarlit from Okanagan College will cover how a LinkedIn profile is an essential part of a student’s personal brand – especially for someone considering doing any LinkedIn networking. Session starts at 1 p.m. in Room E202.
  • Health Care Assistant Roles at Interior Health: Kailee Thorne will talk about what Interior Health positions involve at hospitals, residential care, home support and community care. This high-demand occupation offers a variety of opportunities throughout the region. Session starts at 2 p.m. in Room E202.

Admission and parking are free. The fair and sessions will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Centre for Learning (E Building) at the Kelowna campus, 1000 KLO Rd.

For details, visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/careerfair.

 

Okanagan College’s technology programs awarded new national accreditation
Okanagan College Media Release

Four engineering technology programs at Okanagan College have earned a new national accreditation designed to help create streamlined pathways toward professional certification for graduates.TAC Oct 2018

Richard Stamper, Executive Director of Technology Accreditation Canada (TAC), visited the Kelowna campus recently to present certificates recognizing national program accreditation for the College’s Civil Engineering Technology, Electronic Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology and Water Engineering Technology programs.

Each of the program audits revealed highly engaged faculty committed to student success. Employers and alumni who were interviewed acknowledged that all programs deliver broad curricula which provides graduates with employment opportunities in various sectors of their respective industries. Audit teams noted that Okanagan College graduates enter the workplace with strong technical, problem solving and time management skills and a solid awareness of health and healthy practices.

“TAC congratulates Okanagan College on its exemplary leadership with four programs accredited,” remarked Richard Stamper, TAC Executive Director. “This significant achievement demonstrates the college’s commitment to its students, faculty, industry and government and signifies that the program aligns with the current standards of the profession.”

In addition, accreditation provides a streamlined pathway towards professional certification as an Applied Science Technologist (A.Sc.T), through the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC).

“This new national accreditation re-affirms for our students that the knowledge and skills they’re acquiring at the College meet the highest standards and are valued by employers,” says Yvonne Moritz, Okanagan College’s Dean of Science, Technology and Health. “And the expedited path to becoming a certified technician or technologist through ASTTBC ensures our students will continue to step into their industries quickly – and well prepared – after graduation.”

 

OC and UBC Okanagan working together to build a greener future
Okanagan College Media Release

From sharing new ideas in smart energy use to envisioning what the buildings of tomorrow will look like, a new partnership by Okanagan College and the University of British Columbia Okanagan’s School of Engineering is laying the foundation for a greener future.

Green Building LOC 1 Oct 2018Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College and Dr. Deborah Buszard, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Principal of UBC’s Okanagan campus, met at the College’s Penticton campus today to sign a letter of cooperation outlining how the institutions will work together – and with industry, government and community members – to spark new research and create new hands-on practical training opportunities for students.

The letter of cooperation in green construction research and training outlines a number of ways in which the institutions aim to collaborate, from developing shared capstone projects for students to establishing a speaker series in green construction and smart energy use.

“We are at a critical turning point in the future of the planet,” says Buszard. “Green construction research that begins here in the Okanagan will generate new techniques, technologies, and materials that could have national or global impact. Through this new collaboration, UBC researchers, working side-by-side with faculty and students from the College, will develop solutions that help bridge the gap from where we are today to the greener future we seek for tomorrow.”

“In strengthening our partnership in this way, we’re seeking to enrich and diversify the educational experiences for students, drawing from the considerable knowledge and expertise the College and the University bring to the table,” explains Hamilton.
Green Building LOC 2 Oct 2018
“This enhanced cooperation is going to help us continue to educate the skilled workers who will raise the bar, invent new and better ways of doing things and continue to build our communities more sustainably.”

At the College, the collaboration will see students and faculty from a variety of technology programs engaged, while also developing the connections between technologies and trades, as the College continues to educate those who design and construct the buildings of the future.

Another goal will be to build on the work both institutions have done to establish the region as a hub for innovation in advancing sustainable construction. Both institutions have several examples of work done to create greener learning and working environments on their campuses and have worked with various groups of students to support and develop green initiatives.

The letter of cooperation outlines a joint commitment to explore the creation of a Green Construction Research and Training Centre (GCRTC) in the Okanagan. Such a centre would see researchers working to create innovative, low-cost, and reliable construction and retrofitting solutions to achieve healthy, resilient, and environmentally sustainable infrastructure.

 

New award honours Okanagan columnist
Okanagan College Media Release

Thomson Marketing Award Oct 2018A new annual award for top marketing students at Okanagan College is honouring a well-known Okanagan businessman and columnist.

John Thomson was the former Marketing Manager at B.C. Tree Fruits. When he retired in the early 90s Kelowna was in the midst of an economic slump. Still passionate about business and an enthusiastic community promotor, Thomson went on to form the Kelowna Executive Roundtable, a group of local business leaders that meet monthly to discuss topics relevant to the Central Okanagan community. 

Thomson also began writing the Thomson Report, a column about business in the Okanagan. 
As a journalist, Thomson was a frequent contributor to Okanagan Life and also served as a columnist and then an editor of Okanagan Business. In 1999, for his contributions to community, Thomson was awarded an honorary doctorate from Okanagan University College.

When Thomson passed in 2015, members of the Executive Roundtable wanted to find a way to recognize his impact on their group and the community at large. Along with his wife Dolores, they set up a legacy that will introduce new students to Thomson’s work for years to come.

“John was a big fan of the college,” says Don Turri, a partner at Crowe MacKay and a member of the Executive Roundtable. “We decided the most appropriate thing was to have a scholarship in his name.”

The John Thomson Memorial – Kelowna Executive Roundtable Scholarship in Marketing is an annual $2,500 award for a top marketing student enroled in the Bachelor of Business Administration program. The award winner is chosen for having the highest marks in three second- or third-year marketing courses.

“John was a force of nature in the business, media and marketing community in the Okanagan. His columns, his roundtable, his efforts at connecting people and business really spoke to the love he had for the region and for business making a difference in people’s lives,” says Dr. Barry McGillivray, Associate Dean of the Okanagan School of Business at Okanagan College.

“This award in John’s name will hopefully inspire the recipient this year and in years to come to help carry on the commitment to marketing and community that we know was at the core of John’s bigger-than-life persona.”

Andrew Nash is the first winner of the award, and describes himself as the one sitting in the front row of class, asking lots of questions and staying late to study.

“What I love about marketing is the opportunity to be creative,” says Nash. “From developing advertising slogans, or products that are going to reach customers, it’s very interesting to me. The more I can put my own touch on things is awesome.”

Over the summer, Nash ran his own division of Student Works Painting in Salmon Arm, which employed eight student painters.

Nash is also following in Thomson’s footsteps by serving as the Executive Director with the College’s Okanagan Business Students Association, which organizes networking events and activities for students.

“Having the extra income from this award will save me from having a part time job and will help fund tuition and living in Kelowna,” says Nash.

“By not working, I can focus on volunteering, getting experience and giving back to students.”

 

Education hits the right note for Okanagan College
Okanagan College Media Release

Professional figure skater Nina Greschner arrived at Okanagan College last fall and traded in her skates for headphones and a mixing board as she stepped into a new career and launched a cutting-edge business focused on helping other athletes achieve their best.Nina Greschner Oct 2108

Greschner has been immersed in the figure skating world for more than 30 years. She got her start at age four and was competitive for many years until she transformed her skills into a long-time career travelling abroad with Disney On Ice. After completing more than a decade with Disney, Greschner moved to coaching.

“One of the coach’s responsibilities is the music, which sets the tone for the performance,” explains Greschner. “Finding the right piece of music is no easy feat and I thought to myself, ‘why not create my own?’”

Armed with an original business idea in mind to produce custom music for athletes’ performances, Greschner enrolled in the College’s Audio Engineering and Music Production (AEMP) certificate course to get the necessary training to make her business idea happen.

“I envisioned a niche business helping coaches and choreographers eliminate the problem solving of music and focus their attention on the creation of the performance,” explains Greschner. “I knew I needed a better technical understanding of music editing and how to achieve the perfect tone and energy.”

Greschner experienced first-hand the benefits of small class sizes as she not only worked through the program with her instructors, they even took time to help her flush out her business, Composed Music Services, which she successfully launched in her hometown of Revelstoke this fall.

“One of the really unique things about the AEMP certificate was the wide array of students, each who had something different they wanted to do with their education,” she explained. “You’ve got this one educational program that is appealing to DJs, musicians, stage production workers and business owners – it was really neat to hear everyone’s plans.”

The AEMP program offers students hands-on education and prepares them for a rewarding career in the Music Production industry.

“This program gives students the unique experience of industry opportunities, hands-on training and a network of alumni who love what they do,” says Corey Bell, who has been the lead instructor of the program at Okanagan College since 2012. “It is focused on a learner-centered approach and I work with each student to help them identify and meet their goals within the training.”

The next intake of the AEMP certificate program begins Jan. 7 and those interested can attend an information session coming up at the Kelowna campus on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. in Room A138. Attendees will have a chance to check out equipment, software and other demos and talk with instructors, students and graduates of the program. To find out more information, visit okanagan.bc.ca/aemp or call 250-862-5480.

 

Tolko chips in for Vernon youth
Okanagan College Media Release

Tolko Oct 2018Sixteen year old Vernon Secondary School student Nemo Des Mazes says she prefers working with her hands and building things rather than sitting in a classroom.

When the chance came to take part in the Youth Trades Explorer Sampler at Okanagan College, she eagerly signed up. The program gives high school students an opportunity to discover the trades as a career with hands-on technical training in six fields including plumbing, carpentry and electrical.

The innovative program, a partnership between School District 22 and the College, is not only attracting students, it’s also garnered the interest and support of a local employer.

Tolko Industries has donated $11,000 plus in-kind support toward the training at Okanagan College.

“We are passionate about youth and this fits with our long-term strategy to build our workforce and our communities,” says Tanya Wick, Tolko’s Vice President, People and Services.

“This program is helping young people gain the skills and experience that can help set them up for success.”

While this year’s student cohort is only in their second week of trades training, they’ve already progressed from building a deck chair to picnic tables. The lumber for their projects was also donated from Tolko’s Armstrong mill.

“It’s always very meaningful for us at the College to see an employer in the region invest in the training of our students,” says Teresa Kisilevich, Okanagan College’s Associate Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship.

“Students see that local businesses want them to succeed.”

Both School District 22 and Okanagan College are interested in elevating trades training as a career choice for students earlier on in their education.

The program can be a game changer for students who aren’t always successful in academics by empowering them to dive and explore a variety of trades at a full-time level for 10 weeks, according to Joe Rogers, Superintendent of Schools at School District 22.

“This gives kids an opportunity to go towards their passion. If you put a kid where they are happy they will do good work,” says Rogers.

“It’s also a win-win for our community as there is a shortage of trades workers.”

Patrick Kenny, who is participating in the current program says he’s always known that he’s wanted to get into the trades.

“I am really liking the program, and the College is welcoming,” he says.

In addition to lumber, Tolko is exploring how else it can support the Youth Trades Sampler program, including having the students take a tour of their Armstrong mill.

The students are working in Okanagan College’s new Trades Training Centre, which opened in August. The $6.2-million, 1,250 square-metre (13,450 square-foot) facility can accommodate approximately 150 students per year and features a dedicated welding shop and multi-use spaces in which the College can deliver training in carpentry, electrical, and plumbing and pipefitting, along with specialized training like the Youth Trades Sampler.

 

OC natural gas reduction has a long history
Okanagan College Media Release

 

With the pressure on FortisBC natural gas customers to reduce consumption because of the pipeline explosion in Prince George this week, Okanagan College energy managers are inspired to continue to explore new ways to reduce reliance on the energy source.

Fortis has not reached out to the College to ask it to reduce consumption and that comes as little surprise.

“We use very little gas at this time of year,” explains Rob St. Onge, Okanagan College’s energy manager. “The reason for that is because of the energy reduction and conservation initiatives we have taken over the past years. We’d still counsel our staff and students to think about how they might be able to reduce their gas consumption in light of the circumstances in Prince George.”

St. Onge, and Peter Csandl, manager of plant services and operations, point to recent construction projects as part of the reason. “Many of our buildings use no gas or very little gas due to recent energy upgrades or alternative forms of heat,” explains St. Onge. “All of our boilers on all campuses have been upgraded to high efficiency condensing boilers which use much less gas. Interestingly, Fortis rebates helped fund these projects.”

“Our newer buildings also use exhaust air heat recovery which dramatically reduces heating requirements,” says Csandl. “That’s in place in the Centre of Excellence in Penticton, the Centre for Learning and the Trades Complex in Kelowna, and the Child Care Centre in Penticton.”

A significant portion of the College’s largest campus – Kelowna – relies on an innovative heat-recovery system (drawing from the nearby City of Kelowna waste water treatment plant) for heat – that doesn’t require natural gas for much of the year.

“Over the past many years, our goal has been to reduce our carbon footprint, and we’ve certainly done that,” says St. Onge. He points to data that shows while the College’s physical footprint has grown 38.8 per cent since 2008, the overall natural gas consumption has decreased 32.2 per cent. On a per square metre basis, that means consumption of natural gas has dropped by more than half – 51.7 per cent – in a decade. (Electrical consumption, incidentally, dropped by 19 per cent per square metre in the same time period.)

“We are focused on conservation and energy savings as part of our commitment to sustainability,” explains Csandl, “And we will continue to look at ways that we can do that and incorporate the greenest possible building and renovation techniques to help move us toward a carbon-zero environment.”

 


College hosts health care training for in-demand profession in Oliver
Okanagan College Media Release

It is not quite a house call, but Oliver residents will find health care training is being offered very close to home.

A special intake of Okanagan College’s Health Care Assistant program is scheduled to be held in February that will give students in the South Okanagan direct access to training for one of the most in-demand positions in the province.

“The South Okanagan is desperate for health care assistants. That need exists across the province, but there is a significant demand within health-care facilities and homes in this part of the region,” says Lisa Kraft, Associate Dean of Science Technology and Health for Okanagan College.

The College received $89,000 in one-time funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training to support delivery of the program in Oliver, which will also enhance access for residents of nearby Osoyoos, Okanagan Falls and Keremeos.

According to WorkBC, health care assistants have been identified as a priority occupation for the B.C. Ministry of Health. Average employment growth rates in this field are forecasted at 13 per cent to 2022, with no sign of slowing down. This demand is anticipated to increase even more after the Government of B.C. announced funding to increase staffing levels in residential care homes for seniors, which aims to fund more than 900 health care assistants by 2021.

“Students will be making a living wage right out of school, in a profession that offers a variety of shifts, making it easy to find work that best fits their lives,” says Kraft. "Most importantly, health care assistants find their work extremely rewarding. Graduates often tell us how much they appreciate the opportunity to have a significant impact on the quality of life for people in care."

An information night for people to learn more about the Health Care Assistant program and field will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. at Southern Okanagan Secondary School, 6140 Gala St. in Oliver. The six-month intensive program runs for 26 weeks starting on Feb. 4, 2019, and will feature four months of classroom instruction and two months of hands-on practicum for students to learn within the health-care environment. 

Applications can be submitted online. For information, call 250-492-4305, ext. 3203 or visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/hca.

 

College’s 3-Hour Short Story Contest returns
Okanagan College Media Release

“Please, sir, I want some more…time” may be the refrain heard from Grade 11, 12 and OC students across the valley at the upcoming 9th Annual 3-Hour Short Story Contest at Okanagan College.Hannah Stanley Oct 2018

Aspiring authors looking for a challenge will need to make careful use of the 180 minutes they’ll be given to craft a compelling original short story at the contest, which is held on Oct. 13 from 1 – 4 p.m. at each of the College’s campuses in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon and Salmon Arm.

The clock won’t be the only obstacle during the competition. Students will also be required to work a mystery phrase into their story, revealed at the start of the contest. Participants in previous years had to incorporate phrases such as “frozen fish sticks,” “downy mustache,” “soggy bread” and “under the weather” into their story.

“The clock forces writers to not second guess themselves and trust their instincts while writing. Quite often they’ll produce a surprising result that undoubtedly helps to advance their artistic development and style,” says Dr. Sean Johnston, contest organizer and an English Professor at the College. “The pressure is liberating and I think that is why we see budding authors of all ages and levels enter the contest.”

Writers will be competing for funds they can apply toward tuition. A judging panel made up of members of the College’s English department will review stories and select four winners, one from each region. Each winner will receive a $250 tuition credit and an overall grand prize winner will take home an additional $500 tuition credit and have their story published in a limited fine-press edition by the Kalamalka Press – the College’s printing press located at the Vernon campus.

7,200 seconds and 919 words was all it took for last year’s winner, Hannah Stanley, to take home the top prize of $750 for her original story “The Best Years of Our Lives.”

“I woke up in the morning feeling very uninspired and I went into the contest without any prior story ideas or anything worked out in my head in advance,” says Stanley, a recent OC Associate of Arts graduate. “It wasn’t until the clock started and I heard the mystery phrase that I found inspiration and knew what I was going to write about.”

The contest is free to enter and registration is open until midnight on Friday, Oct. 12. For more details, contest rules and to register, please visit Okanagan.bc.ca/3hourwriting.

 

Tuition Giveaway returns to Okanagan College
Okanagan College Media Release

Learning about your future options could pay off, quite literally, at Okanagan College.

The College is hosting a variety of open houses and information nights in the coming month for potential students and parents to explore the possibilities for post-secondary.

For students considering an academic, apprenticeship or vocational program at Okanagan College, there is extra incentive to stop in: anyone who attends these on-campus sessions can be entered into a draw for a $5,000 tuition voucher.

Student Braeden Lambert was the Tuition Giveaway winner in 2017 after spending the day at an open house last year while researching the College’s Bachelor of Business degree program.

“It totally took me by surprise when I got the phone call telling me I won the tuition money – I felt like I won the lottery or something,” says Lambert. “It’s given me the freedom of time to focus on studying, and I can use that money on courses in the summer to get that extra foot in the door for the coming year.”

Anyone who takes an official tour, attends a recruitment event or connects with a recruitment team member will receive an entry to the contest. The winner will be chosen on May 16, 2019, and they will receive a voucher covering fall and winter semester tuition fees up to $5,000.

“Students interested in post-secondary options tend to explore programs, chat with recruiters and advisors to have questions answered, and tour classrooms. Our information nights and open houses offer all of this, in addition to the opportunity to connect with College instructors,” says Inga Wheeler, Associate Registrar. “The entry for the Tuition Giveaway is icing on the cake.”

Conditions apply for the Tuition Giveaway draw, and are available online: okanagan.bc.ca/tuitiongiveaway.

For details about information nights and open houses, read below for the campus closest to you:

PENTICTON

The annual Information Night is set for Tuesday, Nov. 6 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence (PC 113), Penticton campus, 583 Duncan Ave. West. Students and parents can learn the top 15 points they should know before starting post-secondary at the Freshman 15 Seminar. Topics will include terminology, accessing scholarships and bursaries, applying for student loans, the application process, and important student services. The seminar begins at 5 p.m. in the Ashnola Building Lecture Theatre (PL 107). For details, visit the event page.

Those who cannot attend are welcome to book a campus tour or become a student for the day. For information or questions, contact Liana Swedahl at lswedahl@okanagan.bc.ca or 250-492-4305, ext. 3205.

SALMON ARM

The Salmon Arm Campus Open House runs Thursday, Nov. 1 from 7 to 9 p.m. at 2552 10th Ave. NE, beside the Shaw Centre. For details, visit the event page.

Open house activities include:

  • Mini-fair from 7 to 9 p.m. in the cafeteria: students can fill out applications, enter the draw and talk to instructors.
  • Freshman 15 Seminar from 7 to 7:30 p.m. in Room 130: Students and parents can learn the top 15 points they should know before starting post-secondary. Topics will include terminology, accessing scholarships and bursaries, applying for student loans, the application process, and important student services.
  • Program Spotlights from 7:30 to 8 p.m.: Students can check out more in-depth presentations on up to two programs of their choosing.

 

“Learners of all ages are welcome to stop by the open house and investigate their options, whether they are considering returning to studies or thinking about upgrading. There is a lot happening at the Salmon Arm campus, and the doors are open for the community to explore educational opportunities,” says Joan Ragsdale, Regional Dean Shuswap-Revelstoke.

Those who cannot attend are welcome to book a campus tour or become a student for the day. For information or questions, contact Kristine Wickner at kwickner@okanagan.bc.ca or 250-832-2126, ext. 8259.

VERNON

The Program Open House and Spotlight Sessions at the Vernon campus is set for Monday, Oct. 29, running from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Kal View Café of the Vernon campus, 7000 College Way. Spotlight Sessions include:

  • Arts and science studies, 6 p.m. in Room D310
  • Trades, 6 p.m., in Room D221
  • Health, 6 p.m., in Room D314
  • Business, 6:45 p.m., in Room D212
  • Engineering Technologies, 6:45 p.m., Room C344
  • Continuing Studies, 6:45 p.m., D344

 

Anyone who applies during the Open House will have application fees waived.

An additional Vernon event offers a second opportunity to enter. Freshman 15 Seminar will be held Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lecture Theatre (D310), walking students and parents through the top 15 points they should know before starting post-secondary. Topics will include terminology, accessing scholarships and bursaries, applying for student loans, the application process, and important student services. For details, visit the event page.

Those who cannot attend are welcome to book a campus tour or become a student for the day. For information or questions, contact Tawnya Cameron at tcameron@okanagan.bc.ca or 250-545-7291, ext. 2309.

KELOWNA

The College’s 37th annual Career Fair is set for Nov. 4 at the Kelowna campus, offering high school and post-secondary students the opportunity to explore potential career paths and connect with employers.

Career Fair is one of the Interior’s longest-running fairs that attracts hundreds of prospective students every year. Attendees are treated to post-secondary preparatory seminars, tours, activities, program information and draw prizes.

The fair runs from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Kelowna campus, 1000 KLO Rd. Students and parents can learn the top 15 points they should know before starting post-secondary at the Freshman 15 Seminar in the S104 Lecture Theatre at 1 p.m. Topics will include terminology, accessing scholarships and bursaries, applying for student loans, the application process, and important student services. For details, visit the event page.

Admission and parking are free for Career Fair. Those who cannot attend are welcome to book a campus tour or become a student for the day. For information or questions, contact Blake Edwards at bedwards@okanagan.bc.ca or 250-762-5445, ext. 4469.

 

College provides training to meet sustainable construction demand
Okanagan College Media Release

 

Clint Price Oct 2018Courtesy of a six-month Okanagan College training program in a field few people think much about, Clint Price has a full-time construction career.

Price finished his Residential Insulator program recently after 15 weeks in the classroom learning theory and safety related to insulation and then an additional 10 weeks in work placements with local employers.

The booming insulation industry, coupled with consumer interest in reducing environmental impact, has created a significant need for skilled workers. Okanagan College, in conjunction with the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, Work BC, and local industry leaders, has brought a new program on board to help meet industry demand and prepare skilled workers.

The 25-week Residential Insulator program provides tuition-free specialized training for eligible applicants with funding from the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. The program develops practical skills and provides safety certifications in the first 15 weeks of classroom instruction. The remaining 10 weeks are spent in work placements with local employers providing valuable work-related experience.

The Okanagan construction industry is thriving and evolving, inspiring local developers to push the envelope and build more sustainable spaces. Insulation plays a big, and often overlooked, part in creating energy efficient buildings.

The OC training program proved beneficial for Price, a graduate of the first intake of the Residential Insulator program. “The classroom training allowed me to gain the skills required to commence work in the industry and be a valuable member of an insulation team. My 10 weeks of work placement with Grayhawk Industries has allowed me to apply that knowledge with onsite training and has given me the necessary tools to succeed in my new career path,” says Price. “I am now employed full time in the industry and could not be more grateful for the opportunity to have been involved with this program.”

The Residential Insulator program was created in response to the local labour market challenges,” explains Dr. Dennis Silvestrone, Okanagan College’s Director of Continuing Studies and Corporate Training. “Okanagan College, in conjunction with the Ministry, and with support from local industry, is responding to this need by providing skilled training opportunities through the newly developed Residential Insulator program.”

“With changing building codes, it is important to provide skilled training within the insulation industry to equip these workers with a firm grasp of building science knowledge and the variety of different materials available to them,” says Luke Egely, Residential Insulator program instructor.

“Developing this pilot program has been a joint effort on many fronts,” says Egely. We’ve created a program that covers a broad range of topics to build the knowledge these students need.”

Price, along with other graduates of the first intake of the course, have recently completed their work placements. The training has resulted in several offers of full-time employment.

“This group of students have excelled with their training and are driven to create new careers for themselves,” says Egely. “They are just beginning to see the opportunities this training could open up to them.”

The program has been well-received locally and has received government funding for a second intake, beginning Nov. 26. Egely has also fielded calls from others interested in this type of training from all across Canada and the U.S.

The Residential Insulator program was developed through extensive consultation with local employers, consultants and

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 suppliers in British Columbia and Alberta. Training takes place at the Okanagan College Trades training facility in Vernon. Find out more at okanagan.bc.ca/insulationinstaller.