CWA Foundation helps BC welding programs

CWA Foundation helps BC welding programs

Milton, ON – November 21, 2016 - The Canadian Welding Association Foundation (CWA Foundation) continues to support high school welding programs and Mind over Metal camps in British Columbia thanks to a funding partnership with the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, in conjunction with Seaspan.

This year, $100 000 was invested in high school welding programs, including $80,000 of equipment funding to schools including Claremont Secondary, Stelly’s Secondary, Parkland Secondary (Saanich) and Windsor Secondary (North Vancouver). Additionally, the Individual Learning Centre (ILC) Continuing Education program in Saanich, hosted two indigenous Mind over Metal welding camps, while Spectrum Community School in Victoria, hosted one camp. 

 “Welding equipment is the largest expense for high school welding shops, and we’re working closely with several school districts in British Columbia to help address their needs. We’re also working with several organizations to like the ILC to engage youth and show them through hands-on experience that welding is a great career path,” said Deborah Mates, Executive Director of the CWA Foundation. “Funding partnerships are essential to make these types of long term investments possible because the youth of today are the next generation of welding professionals.”

Claremont, Stelly’s, Parkland and Windsor Secondary schools received equipment investment of $80,000 which included: 18 multi-process welding machines, three plasma cutters, six angle grinders, five 220V extension cords (to allow for welding of utility trailers and increase program capability), and enough welding consumables for the 2016-2017 school year.

The mobile Mind over Metal welding camps were an investment of $16,000 which included hands-on experience and a chance for camp attendees to explore their creativity. 

“Our school is very fortunate to receive this donation,” said Peter Westhaver, Principal of Claremont Secondary School. “The welding program continues to be very popular and this assistance helps us grow our program while providing students with the safe environment they need to excel and hone their skills.”

Windsor Secondary School Vice Principal Nancy Roberts expressed gratitude towards the funding as well.

“This is an important initiative because secondary school welding programs are very costly to run, due to materials, consumables and personal protective equipment. This donation provides our welding program with updated equipment and enough consumables for an entire year to enhance the overall program,” said Nancy Roberts.

Two of the Mind over Metal welding camps were unique because the welding occurred in a mobile welding unit provided by Thompson Rivers University (TRU) and School District 73. The two week Mind over Metal camps allowed Indigenous TASK students to experience welding in a hands on way from TRU welding instructor Michael Grainger.

"Partnerships like the one with the CWA Foundation, CSETS Coast Salish Employment Training Society and SD63 are key in providing optimum career trades training opportunities and this mobile welding training unit was successful in creating an infectious enthusiasm about welding in our local community through our Indigenous TASK program,” said Wendy Walker, Vice Principal of Individual Learning Centre Continuing Education.

Helping school districts and organizations in British Columbia was made possible because of common goal partnerships.

“The primary goal of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation is to support programs that give youth the tools they need to succeed in life. Our partnership with the Canadian Welding Association Foundation in conjunction with Seaspan is a perfect example of a public-private partnership that is entirely focused on this important goal,” said Mike Halligan, Executive Director of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation.

Because of this dedicated partnership, the Canadian welding industry will flourish. 

“Seaspan has already grown our tradesmen and women workforce at Vancouver Shipyard from under 100 just five years ago to 500 today. More importantly, we will be close to 1,000 by 2018.  In order to make sure we have enough qualified workers, especially welders and fitters, we are extremely excited to partner with the CWAF in bringing new equipment to high schools in close proximity to our three shipyards in North Vancouver and Victoria,” said Jonathon Whitworth, President and CEO of Seaspan.

About the CWA Foundation
The Foundation’s key mandates are to support public safety awareness, and to address the skilled welding labour shortage in Canada. It will also focus on creating access to educational opportunities for all levels of education from elementary through to post- secondary, as well as indigenous peoples, women, those with disabilities and visible minorities.

About the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation
The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation is the major philanthropic organization for The Washington Companies and the Washington family. The Foundation is based in Missoula, MT. Funding for the Foundation comes from personal contributions from the Washington Family and the annual contributions from The Washington Companies. Since its inception in 1988, Foundation giving and the Washington Family’s personal contributions and pledges to charitable causes total more than $204 million.

Media contact:
Deborah Mates, Executive Director, CWA Foundation
800.844.6790 ext. 241
Deborah.mates@cwa-foundation.org

Mike Halligan, Executive Director
Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation
1-406-523-1300