New trades building opens at Yukon College

The new Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining building opened to much fanfare at Yukon College on Thursday.

The new Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining building opened to much fanfare at Yukon College on Thursday.

The building will house this year’s pre-apprentice carpentry and electrical students, as well as the geological technology program.

“We have jobs without people in the Yukon, and people without jobs,” said Yukon Liberal MP Larry Bagnell before a large crowd at the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday. “Now they’re going to be trained locally to take those jobs that are created by our own resources right here.”

Measuring 18,000 square feet, the building includes an enormous multi-use shop about the size of an airplane hangar, and an academic wing with three classrooms, six offices and a common area.

The classrooms are fitted out with state-of-the-art technology, including smart whiteboards that allow students to save their instructor’s handwritten notes using an app. The building’s lights and ventilation system will also respond automatically when people move into and out of rooms.

Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining (CNIM) executive director Shelagh Rowles said the whole building was designed as a teaching tool. That means heating, ventilation, wiring and plumbing systems have been left exposed as a demonstration to students.

The first year of electrical and carpentry students will also spend much of their time building a 1,000-square foot storage building beside the shop.

“They will have an amazing, hands-on project that they will be getting underway right away,” Rowles said.

CNIM was announced by former prime minister Stephen Harper and Premier Darrell Pasloski in 2013, and was intended to expand trades training in the Yukon.

Together, the federal and territorial governments have invested $11.2 million in CNIM, of which $8.3 million went to the design and construction of the new building. The rest of the money has been used for other projects, including upgrades to other shops at the college and the purchase of a mobile trades training trailer that provides training in the communities.

The Yukon government has also committed $5.8 million for programming from 2013 to 2017.

Aside from the carpentry, electrical and geological technology programs, the centre offers courses in heavy equipment technician training, underground and surface mining, environmental monitoring, pipe trades and welding, and other programs.

Rowles said the new building will allow the centre to launch millwright machinist training and a comprehensive air rotary drilling program.

“Part of the pressure that we’ve had and the reason why we were requesting a new facility is that we were maxed out,” she said. “And we couldn’t bring in any more students over in the old trades area. There was no space.”

Despite the downturn in the mining sector, Rowles said CNIM graduates are still finding jobs very quickly, though a college spokesperson said the centre isn’t systematically monitoring what becomes of its alumni right now.

“If there’s not employment in one place, there are opportunities in others,” Rowles said.

So far, 172 students have enrolled in CNIM programs since 2013, and 57 of them have received training from the mobile trailer in Dawson City, Pelly Crossing, Ross River, Carmacks and Mayo.

“As mineral prices improve and mining companies increase production, employment opportunities will increase in the mining industry and the sectors that serve the mining industry,” Pasloski said during the opening ceremony. “The training and skill development that happens here will help ensure that the next wave of skilled miners are Yukoners.”

Jesse Dunford, a second-year geological technology student, said he’s looking forward to moving into the new building. He said his class didn’t have a set space in the college last year.

“So we were kind of just bouncing around everywhere, and then now we’ll just be in one place,” he said. “So that’ll be nice.”

Joel Cubley, the program’s coordinator, said the new building will be “a huge upgrade in the quality of the teaching space that we’re working in.” He said the smart technology in the classrooms will allow for “heightened interaction” with students.

The programs offered in the new building will likely change from year to year, Rowles explained.

“CNIM programming is flexible, and we really try to respond to changes stemming from the ever-changing mining life cycle,” she said.

The new building was designed by Kobayashi + Zedda Architects, and was built by Wildstone Construction and Engineering, Ketza Construction and TSL Contracting. Many of the carpenters and electricians who worked on the project are Yukon College graduates.

Contact Maura Forrest at maura.forrest@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Yukon paleontologists Grant Zazula (left) and Elizabeth Hall (right) examine mammoth fossils in Whitehorse on June 10. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Mammoth bones discovered at Dawson mine site

“So this is just a start, hopefully, we’re going to be learning a lot.”

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker plead guilty to offences under the Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Couple who broke isolation rules to get vaccines in Beaver Creek fined $2,300

Crown and defence agreed on no jail time for Rod and Ekaterina Baker

X
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for June 16, 2021.… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Yukon News file)
COVID-19 outbreak surges to 50 active cases in the Yukon

Officials urge Yukoners to continue following guidelines, get vaccinated

Team Yukon during the 2007 Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse. (Submitted/Sport Yukon)
Whitehorse will bid for 2027 Canada Winter Games

Bid would be submitted in July 2022

Two participants cross the finish line at the City of Whitehorse Kids Triathlon on June 12 with Mayor Dan Curtis on hand to present medals. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
2021 Kids’ Triathlon draws 76 young athletes

Youth ages five to 14 swim, run and bike their way to finish line

Lily Witten performs her Canadian Nationals beam routine on June 14. John Tonin/Yukon News
Three Yukon gymnasts break 20-year Nationals absence

Bianca Berko-Malvasio, Maude Molgat and Lily Witten competed at the Canadian Nationals – the first time in 20 years the Yukon’s been represented at the meet

For the second year running, the Yukon Quest will not have 1,000 mile race. Crystal Schick/Yukon News
The Yukon Quest will be two shorter distance events instead of a 1,000 mile race

After receiving musher feeback, the Yukon Quest Joint Board of Directors to hold two shorter distances races instead of going forward with the 1,000 mile distance

It’s been a long time since most Yukoners have seen downtown Skagway. (Andrew Seal/Yukon News file)
What Canada-U.S. border changes could mean for Alaska travel

The federal government is expected to make an announcement on Monday

A rendering of the proposed new city hall/services building and transit hub. (City of Whitehorse/submitted)
City building plans move forward

Council approves procurement going ahead

Western and Northern premiers met this week to discuss joint issues. (Joe Savikataaq/Twitter)
Premiers meet at Northern Premiers’ Forum and Western Premiers’ Conference

Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq virtually hosted both meetings this year

The sun sets over Iqaluit on Oct. 26, 2020. Nunavut’s chief public health officer says two COVID-19 cases at Iqaluit’s middle school came from household transmission and the risk to other students is low. (Emma Tranter/Canadian Press)
Iqaluit school’s contacts and classmates cleared after two COVID-19 cases

With an outbreak ongoing in Iqaluit, the Aqsarniit middle school has split students into two groups

An extended range impact weapon is a “less lethal” option that fires sponge or silicon-tipped rounds, according to RCMP. (File photo)
Whitehorse RCMP under investigation for use of “less lethal” projectile weapon during arrest

Police used the weapon to subdue a hatchet-wielding woman on June 4

Most Read