Northwest Community College (NWCC) is switching the location of its welding program from its Prince Rupert campus to Terrace once the current academic year is over.
NWCC director of communications Heather Bastin confirmed last week that this semester of welding will be the last one in Rupert in the near future, but that the program is likely to return.
“We have 12 people in welding [in Prince Rupert] this year and they’re going to finish the program and then in the fall in that same space, we’re going to be offering plumbing in Prince Rupert as well as Electrical Level 3 and Intro to Trades, so there will still be programming offered in Prince Rupert, it just won’t be that specific welding program,” said Bastin.
The Terrace class is available for students looking to take welding this upcoming academic school year in the fall through two different cohorts and the instructor in Prince Rupert has been offered to teach the program in Terrace once the Rupert semester ends.
“It’s just a matter of cycling through different programming as there is demand because the community is not massive,” said the communications director.
“Certainly if suddenly there was a demand, like 12 [more] students who wanted to take welding in Prince Rupert, we’d definitely look at a way to make that happen,” she added.
With more large-scale projects potentially coming to the area like LNG, Bastin said that the Dean of Trades, Lorrie Gowen, is always keeping a finger on the pulse of in-demand training programs for projects in the northwest.
“We’re always in touch with industry representatives and representatives from ITA (Industry Training Authority) to determine what’s required in the area and our Dean of Trades keeps a close eye on that and is always talking to people,” said Bastin.
“The plan is responsive to the needs of the community. We expect to offer a greater variety of programs in Prince Rupert in the coming years, including plumbing, welding, electrical, millwright, professional cooking and intro to trades programs,” said Jill Long, director of trades.
The communications director believes that the student population for welding had been on the decline for a few semesters now before the switch to Terrace, but was in the midst of double-checking with the registrar to make sure. As of press time, no recent numbers were available.