A pair of donated buses are opening valuable training opportunities for students in the College of New Caledonia’s (CNC) heavy mechanical trades program.
The donation by Pacific Western Transit (PWT) and BC Transit with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and the City of Prince George as funding partners gives a second life to buses that have reached the end of service life.
Public transportation and bussing is a growth industry in Canada. Wanting to provide trade students with the opportunity to explore this interesting field, PWT decided it would donate a bus to CNC.
“Buses represent a unique segment of the transportation industry,” said Richard Haukka, PWT Director of Maintenance, in a news release. “Bus and transit experience is a rare trait in today’s job market, and technical exposure to this type of equipment provides the opportunity for students to enhance their employability.”
BC Transit also saw great value in partnering with CNC to provide students with early exposure to the inner workings of public transit vehicles. Often, automotive and heavy mechanical students don’t get exposure to a transit bus until they are employed by a place such as BC Transit, or one of its operating partners, as an apprentice, utility person, technician, body person or mechanic.
“An important component of the transit service is ensuring the buses are ready for service, and our team of mechanics across the province work hard every day to achieve that goal,” said Erinn Pinkerton, BC Transit President and Chief Executive Officer. “Having an intact bus available for students to work on provides them with a unique learning opportunity about how components, parts, and circuits are arranged on a transit bus and hopefully sparks an interest in pursuing a career with transit.”
The City of Prince George was pleased the donation of a bus at the end of its service life could go on to help provide heavy mechanical students at CNC a new learning opportunity.
“Prince George receives great value from having a comprehensive college like CNC in our community producing a wide diversity of qualified graduates for our workforce,” said Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall. ”Council would like to thank CNC staff for their dedication to finding new learning and teaching opportunities, and BC Transit, PW Transit, and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for partnering with us to make this valuable contribution to learning in Prince George.”
The donated buses compliment the commercial transport component of CNC’s Heavy Mechanical Trades program. Though its curriculum teaches about working on buses, CNC did not have one for students to get hands-on experience of such concepts taught in the classroom.
“We’re grateful to have support from partners who believe in advancing training opportunities at CNC,” said Frank Rossi, CNC Dean of the School of Trades and Technologies. “This donation will help students with an interest in commercial transport to align their knowledge to industry needs.”