Thompson Rivers University

$30 million for new Industrial Training and Technology Centre

September 20, 2016

The following is a joint announcement from the BC Ministry of Advanced Education and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Canadians will be better equipped for the well-paying, middle-class jobs of today and tomorrow as a result of a $30-million investment in a new Industrial Training and Technology Centre at Thompson Rivers University.

The Government of Canada is contributing $13.25 million and the B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education is providing $7.03 million toward the project’s $30-million cost. TRU and donors, including Western Economic Diversification Canada, will contribute an additional $9.72 million.


Kevin Kneale, a pre-apprenticeship industrial instrument mechanics student at TRU, addresses the audience during Tuesday’s announcement.

The funding will enable TRU to build a new 5,344-square-metre Industrial Training and Technology Centre that will allow the university to expand its industrial trades and technology programs by an additional 550 full-time equivalent student spaces (FTEs), for a total of approximately 2,050 FTEs. The funding will also go toward the renovation of space in the existing School of Trades and Technology building.

Construction is expected to get underway in early 2017 with substantial completion by spring 2018 and occupancy in the fall of 2018.

more photos

“More physical space for classes and for labs is going to be a huge improvement, but more importantly, the new Industrial Training and Technology Centre is going to allow us to do the third and fourth years of our journey training here at home,” said Kevin Kneale, a pre-apprenticeship industrial instrument mechanics student at TRU. “That means I can concentrate on being successful in my program and do not have to scramble for housing.”

ITTC concept rendering

A concept drawing of the new trades building.

The joint federal-provincial investment was announced today by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, alongside Terry Lake, Minister of Health and MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson, and Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, on behalf of Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Advanced Education.

The Government of Canada’s Innovation Agenda aims to make this country a global centre for innovation—one that creates jobs, drives growth across all industries and improves the lives of all Canadians. The investment at TRU exemplifies that vision in action.

spectators applaud

TRU students, faculty and staff applaud the Sept. 20, 2016 announcement.

“Thompson Rivers University has worked closely with local industries and employers to determine the skills sets they need,” said TRU President and Vice-Chancellor Alan Shaver. “The new centre will co-locate trades and science programs together to provide unique benefits supporting TRU’s contribution of relevant and applicable research to various industry sectors in Canada and provide rewarding careers for our students.”

The funding will be allocated through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, which will enhance and modernize research facilities on Canadian campuses and improve the environmental sustainability of these facilities.

As a result of these investments, students, professors and researchers will work in state-of-the-art facilities that advance the best research in the country. They will collaborate in specially-designed spaces that support lifelong learning and skills training. They will work in proximity with partners to turn discoveries into products or services. In the process, they will train for and create the high-value jobs of the future. And their discoveries will plant the seeds for the next generation of innovators.

That is how the Strategic Investment Fund will jump-start a virtuous circle of innovation, creating the right conditions for long-term growth that will yield benefits for generations to come.

Currently, there are more than 1,500 seats in construction trades, mechanical trades, industrial electrician and industrial instrumentation technology programs at TRU. The additional 550 seats will include more seats in existing programs, as well as seats in a new power engineering diploma, a new HVAC/ refrigeration technician program and an industrial process technician and instrumentation engineering diploma.

The renovated space in TRU’s trades building will be used by the architectural and engineering technology program, which will allow the program to expand to offer a fourth year and will have dedicated labs, classrooms and faculty offices within the current trades building.

The centre will be built to meet LEED Gold building standard, the Wood First Act and Apprentices on Public Project in BC policy. Construction of the new centre is expected to generate 108 direct and 82 indirect jobs for the region.

Nearly one million job openings are expected in BC over the next decade, and eight out of 10 of these openings will require post-secondary education. In-demand occupations requiring post-secondary education or training range from professional to management to trades.


“This once-in-a-generation investment by the Government of Canada is a historic down payment on the government’s vision to position Canada as a global centre for innovation. That means making Canada a world leader in turning ideas into solutions, science into technologies, skills into jobs and start-up companies into global successes. This investment will create conditions that are conducive to innovation and long-term growth, which will in turn keep the Canadian economy globally competitive.”
The Hon. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“Our government is putting students first with an investment in a new Industrial Training and Technology Centre. The new building will accommodate a range of new and existing trades, technology and industrial programs that will prepare students for a range of in-demand careers in the region.”
Andrew Wilkinson, BC Advanced Education Minister

“Investing in trades training supports families, communities and the economy in the region. As a result of our investment, more trades students will be able to train right here in Kamloops for exciting careers that pay well and are in-demand.”
Terry Lake, BC Health Minister and MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson

“The new Industrial Training and Technology Centre will be a great asset for students, faculty and staff. The increased capacity will ensure TRU continues to meet student and labour market demand.”
Todd Stone, BC Transportation and Infrastructure Minister and MLA for Kamloops-South

“There is growing interest in trades’ careers and this investment will ensure that British Columbians have more opportunities for trades training. The Industry Training Authority supports innovation in trades and this newly renovated facility will provide students with a modern and relevant space to develop or build on their innovative thinking.”
Gary Herman, CEO, Industry Training Authority of BC

Quick Facts

The Government of Canada’s recently launched Innovation Agenda is designed to ensure Canada is globally competitive in promoting research, translating ideas into new products and services, accelerating business growth and propelling entrepreneurs from the start-up phase to international success.

The targeted, short-term investments under the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund will promote economic activity across Canada and help Canada’s universities and colleges develop highly skilled workers, act as engines of discovery and collaborate on innovations that help Canadian companies compete and grow internationally.

The Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund supports the Government of Canada’s climate change objectives by encouraging sustainable and green infrastructure projects.

As part of B.C.’s Blueprint, the provincial government has provided TRU with an additional $735,560 for 186 critical trades seats and $1.75 million for new industry-standard training equipment.

The new Industrial Training and Technology Centre is part of the commitment by the provincial government to invest $185 million in trades training facilities and equipment throughout the province as outlined in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint.

Media Contacts

Media Relations and Communications

Trish Fougner
BC Ministry of Advanced Education
Communications Manager
250 952-6400

Philip Proulx
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Related Posts