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Gord Turner, founder of Gord Turner Renovations Ltd., has donated $15,000 to support the outfitting of a new study space in the Carpentry shop. The space will come online for students this fall.
“I think it’s important to give back,” says Turner. “I’ve been fortunate in this business. With the way the industry is going, I feel it’s incumbent on us to support future tradespeople.”
“Our company has supported a number of apprentices during their training over the years. The industry is constantly changing. If you want to be successful in the long run you have to keep learning and changing with it.”
Turner says the decision to help create the new study space was an easy one given his long connection to the College. He has been a member of the Carpentry program’s Program Advisory Committee (PAC) for nearly a decade and took a refresher course in carpentry at the Kelowna campus in the early 2000s.
Gord Turner Renovations also boasts two other Okanagan College alumni on staff: Turner’s children. His son Cody earned his Red Seal as carpenter in 2005, while his younger son Kyle graduated from the Mechanical Engineering Technology program in 2008.
“I was brought up in this trade by my dad,” explains Cody Turner. “I was the first apprentice from our company to train at the College, so it’s nice to see our company able to support the place where our family and a number of our employees have trained.”
“It’s wonderful to see the College keep growing,” notes Kyle Turner. “Having access to trades training in Kelowna is a great for our business.”
The company has grown from an army of one – Turner – in 1991, to a team of 13 employees today. Along the way, Turner and company have racked up Gold and Silver Tommie Awards, including “Renovator of the Year” in 2010. Gord Turner Renovations has also been voted “Best Residential Renovator of the Central Okanagan” by the readers of Okanagan Life Magazine multiple years, including the latest issue in December 2015.
Sept. 28 marks the company’s 25th anniversary, and its founder is quick to point out that while building technologies, materials and styles may have changed over the decades, one aspect of his business has remained constant.
“We help people renovate their houses, design through build, and we do it really well. That’s it. And that takes good people.”
Which, as Turner points out, harkens back to the need for a deep pool of well-trained trades people in the region.
“The new trades complex will help the College continue to stay in step with the needs of industry,” says Steve Moores, Okanagan College’s Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship. “From top to bottom, from shops to classrooms, it is a totally modern, cutting-edge learning environment.”
“We appreciate the way local employers like Gord Turner Renovations have embraced the project and have chosen to invest in the future of trades training at the College.”
The College recently completed a 10,000 sq. metre renovation and expansion of trades facilities at the Kelowna campus. The new three-storey LEED Platinum-targeted building opened to students in April and is slated for an official public grand opening this month. The new and renovated facilities will allow the College to train 2,700 students per year.
The Okanagan College Foundation launched its $7-million Bright Horizons Building for Skills fundraising campaign in October 2014 to raise an additional $5 million for capital construction and $2 million in program and student support to top up the province’s $28-million investment.
To learn more about Okanagan College’s new trades facilities and opportunities to support students, please visitwww.okanagan.bc.ca/campaign.