Employer and educator team up to create real-world learning environment
By HPAC MagazineEngineering Human Resources
Durham College (DC) and Ontario Power Generation (OPG) recently celebrated the completion of the college’s first-ever Boiler Lab in Whitby, ON. Funded by both DC and OPG, the new boiler lab will help ensure graduates gain real-world experience and knowledge from hands-on learning in an actual, operating boiler-room setting.
Politicians, academics and the media gathered for the ribbon cutting with the Cleaver Brooks water tube boiler looming in the background.
“Skilled trade professionals are in high demand and are needed to successfully complete OPG’s Darlington Refurbishment Project. Our partnership with Durham College is essential in providing current and future staffing needs. The Boiler Lab is the type of training facility that is a must for meeting demand,” said Jeff Lyash, OPG president and CEO.
“Leading-edge institutions such as Durham College are training the next generation of skilled trades that will help ensure that Canada’s largest clean energy project continues to track on time and budget,” added Lyash.
Since 2005, OPG has invested $15 million in educational partnership programs with DC and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology to increase the pool of skilled and qualified graduates as the nuclear industry enters into an era of a skilled trades supply gap.
“The partnership between the college and OPG is a great example of industry and post-secondary coming together to deliver training and demonstrates what is possible as a result of these types of agreements,” said Don Lovisa, president, Durham College. “OPG identified a need and through hands-on learning in the Boiler Lab, DC is meeting it. For our students this means they are graduating with the experience required to easily transition into their careers, helping ensure the future viability of the skilled trades.”
Training in the Boiler Lab will be part of Millwright Technician and Power Engineering Technician–Fourth Class programs offered at DC and will play an integral role in competency development. The lab joins a list of training simulation environments offered at the college’s Whitby campus including energy, residential construction and carpentry and horticulture labs.