Welland college students, home builders group collect $1.2 million to aid in future home construction

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Published April 19, 2022 at 2:47 pm

Second-year students from NC’s School of Trades (with hardhats), stand with NC president Sean Kennedy, NHBA CEO Chuck McShane, Minister Monte McNaughton, Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff and Welland Mayor Frank Campion following an announcement at the College’s Welland Campus Walker Advanced Manufacturing Centre on April 19. (Photo: Niagara College)

A home builders’ association and students who will be future home builders themselves got a face-to-face at the Welland campus of Niagara College today (April 19).

The reason had that strong foundation that every house needs. The Niagara Home Builders’ Association (NHBA) and the Construction Skills students were all on hand as Monte McNaughton, the provincial Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, landed in Welland with a cheque for $1.2 million.

It was financial encouragement for the builders and students to help meet the demand for skilled trades workers in the residential construction industry, a field that may face a shortage in the near future as demand for housing increases.

“All across our province, we continue to see a shortage of workers in the skilled trades, for many life-long careers that pay six figures with defined benefits and pensions,” said McNaughton of the grant that came from the province’s Skills Development Fund.

“That is why our government is making strategic investments to offer hands-on training and paid work placements for eager job seekers in Niagara, connecting them with local employers in their community who are ready to hire,” McNaughton added.

The Province is projected to build 1.5 million homes in the next 10 years so the NHBA and Niagara College are working together to help close the skills gap in the construction industry and the trades.

The provincial funding will support the delivery of a customized Construction Skills training program – hands-on instruction through the college’s School of Trades followed by an eight-week paid work placement – to individuals who have been unable to pursue a career in the trades due to financial or other barriers.

“This program will allow the NHBA and Niagara College to develop and train students with the skills they need in order to be job site ready to work their way into building a stable career,” said said Richard Lawrence, President of the NHBA, “while filling the void of the 100,000 workers our industry needs over the next decade.”

Niagara College President Sean Kennedy, expressing gratitude for the funding, noted, “Today’s investment by the province supports our important role working closely with industry partners to meet the current and future needs of employers.”

The college recently launched a Construction and Maintenance Electrician program and a General Carpenter program.

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