Brock’s technological education program got a boost Tuesday, thanks to a donation from the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada.
At an event hosted at Brock’s Hamilton campus, the union local (UA Local 67) gave $75,000 to the University’s Faculty of Education to create an annual bursary and purchase integral IT equipment for the program.
“We are incredibly grateful for this wonderful gift,” said Fiona Blaikie, Dean of Education. “[This gift] will allow us to continue to advance the best technological education program in Canada.”
Blaikie emphasized the importance of building community partnerships, especially with Brock’s Hamilton campus, a sentiment echoed by the union’s business manager Mark Ellerker.
“This partnership is one that is particularly important to us,” Ellerker said. “We are laying the foundation for a base in our community.”
Ellerker added students will need to be technically savvy regardless of the line of work they pursue.
Today’s gift will continue to keep Brock students in the technological education program at the forefront of the industry and allow them to graduate prepared to teach in Ontario schools and other venues around the world, explained program co-ordinator Robert Moulton.
“There is a very sobering statistic that we need to be reminded of,” he said. “That is, Ontario will face a potential, if not real, shortage of 20,000 skilled tradespersons by 2025.”
“The candidates in our technological education teacher education program bring the skills, knowledge and wage-earning experience with them when they begin our program,” Moulton said. “However, it is up to us as faculty to teach our candidates ‘how to teach’ the skills they know so well to secondary school students. Our graduates suggest we do that well.”
The relationship between the technological education program and UA Local 67 has roots that extend beyond the Oct. 2 gift. The union has Brock alumni as members, who are teaching apprentices. Some members of UA Local 67 are currently enrolled in the program.