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One of Canada’s leading insurers, Great-West Life – together with its subsidiaries, London Life and Canada Life – is contributing $100,000 to Okanagan College to encourage sustainability training.
“Okanagan College has built one of the most innovative and sustainable post-secondary facilities in the world and will soon be training the next generation of tradespeople in sustainable building practices,” said Great-West Life’s Dave Kent, Regional Director, Sales and Marketing Centre, BC Region.
Half of the funding will go towards the capital cost of The Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation located at the Penticton Campus. The remaining $50,000 will go towards development of a new three-year Sustainable Construction Management Technology program at Okanagan College.
Added Paul Finkbeiner, President of GWL Realty Advisors, Great-West Life’s real estate investment subsidiary: “This new program aligns closely with our commitment to sustainability, and it’s great to attract trades into a program dedicated to green construction management.”
GWL Realty Advisors partners with its clients to develop LEED-certified buildings and implement sustainable initiatives across its clients’ portfolios.
Great-West Life’s long-standing relationship with the College dates back to 1990 when Canada Life established a scholarship. Since then, Okanagan College students have received 20 awards totaling $11,800.
“We saw the College’s new initiative as an opportunity to deepen that relationship,” said Dave Kent.
Through its national corporate citizenship program, Great-West Life contributes to charitable, non-profit and community-based organizations focused on issues that address community interests important to Canadians.
Kathy Butler, Executive Director of the Okanagan College Foundation, said Great-West Life’s contribution is the first corporate donation to the Centre since December when Jim Pattison announced his commitment of $2.5-million in matching funds.
“It’s significant that a company like Great-West Life recognizes what we’re doing here and that this is valuable on a national level – both in terms of the building, and the programming that will be offered here,” Butler said.
The Sustainable Construction Management Technology program has already received support from the Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of BC (ASTTBC), and major construction firms such as North America Construction Group.
Donors wishing to support The Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence can contribute to a wide variety of initiatives from applied research and library resources, to awards and programming.
In Canada, Great-West Life and its subsidiaries, London Life and Canada Life, offer a broad portfolio of financial and benefit plan solutions and serve the financial security needs of more than 12 million people. Last year, the companies donated $11.9 million to non-profit, charitable and community projects.