The CWB Welding Foundation has received a $300,000 donation from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation in conjunction with shipbuilding and repair comapny Seaspan.
CWB says the cash will be used to build awareness of the welding trade, build welding skill development, and forge pathways to meaningful careers in welding.
“We are thrilled that the Foundation is again entrusting us with this transformative gift, and we are proud to be making a real difference in the welding workforce needs of Seaspan and other Canadian companies,” said Susan Crowley, executive director of the CWB Welding Foundation.
“Dennis and Phyllis Washington believe that access to a high-quality education is the most important determinant of success in life,” said Mike Halligan, executive director of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation. “Continuing our partnership with CWB Welding Foundation is directly aligned with our Foundation mission of giving people, especially our young people, the tools they need to succeed. Seaspan and Southern Railway of British Columbia will directly benefit from the state-of-the art training these graduates receive and we look forward to a continued partnership that is delivering enhanced welding skills to BC high school students.”
The donation is already having an impact. Upgrades to the welding shop at Royal Bay Secondary School in Victoria—an investment of over $100,000—are underway. When complete, the 120 students currently enrolled in the school’s metal classes will have double the amount of shop time available to work on teacher-led and personal projects and to train for Skills/Compétences Canada competitions.
Edward Milne Community School (EMCS) in Victoria is also benefiting from the purchase of new equipment and consumables that will maximize opportunities for hands-on, experiential welding training and activities that can lead students into post-secondary welding education.
“We are very pleased to be part of this investment in our next generation of welders,” said Joe O’Rourke, vice president and general manager, Seaspan Victoria Shipyards. “As the leading shipyard on the West Coast for complex vessel repair and modernization, our strength lies in our highly-skilled team and this donation will help more young people realize the bright future they can have in a welding career.”
A portion of the remaining funds, set to be released in 2021 and 2022, will be invested in Vancouver-area high schools, many of which benefited from a similar donation from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation in 2016. As a result of the 2016 donation, 1,742 students were able to access new welding equipment, materials and “Mind Over Metal” welding camps for youth, and 61 instructors received welding training. This initial $300,000 gift from the Foundation was supported by $372,000 in co-operative investment from BC school districts and the CWB Welding Foundation for a total project investment of $672,000.