Bruce Power and its supplier partners have made a joint $100,000 donation to the new Saugeen Sparks Training Centre, which provides hands-on introductory skilled trades training with the goal of increasing interest in careers in the skilled trades.
The organization’s board of directors, which includes leaders from local Indigenous communities, retired educators and nuclear professionals, and skilled trades professionals, celebrated the graduation of its first class of 45 students on Dec. 6, with 24 participating in the welding program and 21 participating in the residential construction program. Even more encouraging was the high enrolment from traditionally under-represented population groups, including 42 per cent of students in the first cohort being women.
“Bruce Power and our supplier partners know how important it is to the work we’re doing today to refurbish our nuclear fleet, as well as for the future of Ontario’s nuclear industry, to encourage more people to pursue careers in the skilled trades,” said Karen Smith, Vice-President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Bruce Power. “Though a new program, Saugeen Sparks started with an incredibly strong foundation of educators, skilled tradespeople and unions, Indigenous leaders, and nuclear professionals and achieved great success right from its first class. We’re excited to be a part of this program.”
Rob Stanley, Saugeen Sparks Executive Director, said the generous donation from Bruce Power and its suppliers is a testament to the industry’s goals of empowering youth and adults with hands-on training.
“This project is an important initiative to address and help bridge the province’s skilled trades gap,” Stanley said. “We are eternally grateful for this donation, which is further proof that these industry leaders are committed to promoting opportunities for the region’s youth to excel through job placement opportunities and apprenticeships.”
In the spring, Saugeen Sparks will hold night class programming in introductory residential construction and welding programs at Saugeen District Senior School. Summer school outreach and a community outreach program are being planned for mid-summer and early fall, prior to the commencement of the fall night class programming. Next fall, the centre is exploring the delivery of a more advanced welding program aligned to industry and labour union standards.
Learn more about Saugeen Spark Training Centre at www.saugeensparkscentre.com.
About Bruce Power: Bruce Power is an electricity company based in Bruce County, Ontario. We are powered by our people. Our 4,200 employees are the foundation of our accomplishments and are proud of the role they play in safely delivering clean, reliable nuclear power to families and businesses across the province and cancer-fighting medical isotopes around the world. Bruce Power has worked hard to build strong roots in Ontario and is committed to protecting the environment and supporting the communities in which we live. Formed in 2001, Bruce Power is a Canadian-owned partnership of TC Energy, OMERS, the Power Workers’ Union and The Society of United Professionals.