A new Vanderhoof campus of the College of New Caledonia (CNC) has officially opened to meet the growing demand for trades training and post-secondary programs in the region.
“The College of New Caledonia is a leader in hands-on training and this new campus means more people can stay in their community,” said Andrew Mercier, Parliamentary Secretary for Skills Training, on behalf of Minister Anne Kang, the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “A new campus is a vital investment in the future of Vanderhoof and the regional economy. It means students can train closer to home, so that employers have access to the skilled workforce needed to help British Columbia thrive.”
The new campus is a renovated building CNC purchased in 2017 with financial support from the Province. Able to accommodate 136 student spaces, the facility has been converted to include classroom, shop and library areas with a focus on physical and digital accessibility. Digital Delivery Instruction (DDI) will make it possible for students to join classroom instruction in Prince George, while completing coursework and projects in Vanderhoof.
“The opening of a new campus in Vanderhoof strikes at the core of CNC’s new strategic plan, lhulh whuts’odutel’eh – Learning Together,” said Dennis Johnson, president, CNC. “This campus reflects the responsive approach CNC takes to the diverse needs of the communities in our region. We look forward to working with students and partners to support training and educational goals in Vanderhoof and beyond.”
The following programs will be offered at the Vanderhoof campus: trades training on a rotational basis, including millwright, piping, carpentry, welding and trades discovery; applied business technology – administrative assistant (certificate); and university studies, bookkeeping, human services and business courses.
The campus also supports a group of students taking part in the Health Career Access Program. Students are receiving hands-on skills in a specifically equipped classroom to become health-care assistants to support older adults in long-term care and assisted living residences.
Gerry Thiessen, mayor of Vanderhoof –
“The community of Vanderhoof is excited and thankful to the Province of B.C., to see the confidence and commitment to our residents, as well as those of the surrounding communities, that rely on us for services, health care and education. This building is the cumulation of about a decade of planning and work into a vision of educating close to home. We are looking forward to working with CNC and the Province of B.C. to educate our citizens for real meaningful employment, which will help us diversify the next generation.”
Lisa Irvine, health-care assistant program student, CNC –
“Between a career change and learning at the CNC Vanderhoof campus, I feel like I’ve won the lottery. The new lab has simulated what it’s like to care directly for patients. I’ve also been able to take remote classes with students at other CNC campuses. I’m looking forward to starting my practicum at Stuart Nechako Manor and working with older adults.”
Miriam Ludwig, health-care assistant program instructor, CNC –
“The new Vanderhoof campus has given us so much. The classrooms are flexible and adaptable. We have digital connections to link students in Vanderhoof with their peers at other CNC campuses. Our lab is first rate, giving students great hands-on learning opportunities. All of this adds up to a high-quality experience for students, and a place our community can be proud of.”
- The $6.5-million renovation received $5.8 million from government and a $700,000 contribution from CNC.
- An earlier investment by the Province of $1.7 million was provided to purchase the property in 2017.
- More than 16,000 job openings by 2029 are forecast for this region, many of them replacing retiring workers.
- Those opportunities represent a range of professions, including health care, business and the trades.
- The College of New Caledonia’s catchment region is approximately 117,500 square kilometres (12%of the province), with a population exceeding 145,000 people.
- There are CNC campuses in Vanderhoof, Burns Lake, Fort St. James, Mackenzie, Prince George and Quesnel.