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College receives $18.5-M for Industrial Trades Centre of Excellence


It was an announcement Greg Ryan, instructor of Heavy Duty Equipment Technician and Truck Transport Mechanic at College of the North Atlantic, has hoped to hear for some time.

Gerry Byrne, right, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, talks with Marty Madore, left, instructor of Automotive Service Technician and Greg Ryan, instructor of Heavy Duty Equipment Technician and Truck Transport Mechanic at College of the North Atlantic following an announcement of $18.5 million for a Center of Excellence for Heavy Equipment and Industrial Trades at Bay St. George Campus.

Representatives of the Federal and Provincial Governments came to Stephenville on Wednesday to announce they have partnered to spent a total of $18.5 million towards the creation of a Center of Excellence for Heavy Equipment and Industrial Trades at College of the North Atlantic’s Bay St. George Campus.

The investment will renew infrastructure at College of the North Atlantic in Stephenville, create jobs, expand research and foster innovation.

Ryan said in addition to him, this is something that employers, apprentices and students have been waiting for.

Currently teaching out of CNA’s Martin Gallant Building in Stephenville Crossing, he said the beautiful part about this centre is that it’s almost like simulating a working environment for his students, with the advanced ones already working in industry.

Because this program will be moved to Stephenville, he said they will be bringing the mechanics he instructs to the same area where the actual training takes place.

Gudie Hutchings, Member of Parliament for the Long Range Mountains, made the joint federal-provincial investment announcement today with Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador and Gerry Byrne, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour.

She said the Government of Canada’s Innovation Agenda 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 funding will support the Heavy Equipment Centre of Excellence in Teaching, Innovation and Industrial Research, creating a modern and functional facility for the delivery of Heavy Equipment Industrial Trades programs at the College of the North Atlantic.

Of the $18.5 million investment, $9.25 million will come from the Government of Canada and $9.25 million from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Premier Ball said education offers the key to a better future.

“Despite the burden the province finds itself in at this time, we have to keep our focus on diversifying the economy. The road to opportunity is built with innovation,” he said.

Bob Gardiner, interim president of the College of the North Atlantic, said the potential for the public college is immense and praised Premier Ball and Minister Byrne for being extremely supportive.

He also recognized staff for bringing forward proposals towards helping make this Centre of Excellence become a reality.

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