Thompson Rivers University

Donation puts carpentry students on the road to success

July 21, 2023

Kamloops Home Hardware Building Centre owners Ryan (far right) and Rick Kurzac (second from right) gather with residential carpentry students, staff and faculty from TRU to celebrate Home Hardware’s $100,000 donation toward a new Mercedes Sprinter van for the program.

KAMLOOPS — Thanks to a $100,000 gift from Kamloops Home Hardware Building Centre, a new sprinter van complete with a full set of tools ensures Thompson Rivers University (TRU) carpentry students have the equipment they need to succeed off campus.

Owner Ryan Kurzac said he and the rest of the Kamloops Home Hardware team recognize the importance of on-the-job training and believe the 2023 Mercedes Benz 4500 Cab Chassis, outfitted with Milwaukee tools, will help students gain valuable hands-on experience.

“We feel that this donation is an investment in the future growth of quality residential construction in Kamloops,” Kurzac said. “Skilled trades are the backbone of quality construction and the trades programs at TRU ensure that students receive the training necessary for our next generation of builders.”

Students in TRU’s residential construction programs spend a substantial amount of time at work sites. Every year, they build a training house with the Canadian Home Builders Association — Central Interior. The house, built using smart home and green building technologies, is sold to the Kamloops Y and raffled off as part of the Kamloops Y Dream Home Lottery.

“We are the only training institution which builds a home as part of the student’s skill development,” says Faculty of Trades and Technology Dean Baldev Pooni. “Graduates of the past 33 years speak fondly of the house they helped to build. While gaining experience, students interact with other contractors, which often means they are easily recruited once they graduate from the program.”

Carpentry instructor Tim Kasten has been involved in the local construction industry for many years and he says he is encouraged by the amount of support trades programs receive locally.

“The Kurzac family and Home Hardware have been an important part of the home building industry here in Kamloops for many years and this generous donation speaks to their commitment to skilled trades training here in our region,” he said.

“Knowing that we have up-to-date tools and equipment makes it possible to give our students the best training available in BC. This is a huge investment in the future of the young people who will become the next generation of skilled trades workers.”

The van, purchased with support from Zimmer Autosport Ltd., was unveiled July 21 at an event on campus.


Jessica Klymchuk, Senior Communications Consultant
Advancement, University Relations, Thompson Rivers University
250-371-5697 | cell 250-819-8540 |

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