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NWCC breaks ground on $16.7-million campus expansion

SMITHERS Construction is set to begin on Northwest Community Colleges new $16.7-million campus expansion and upgrade in Smithers, following an official ground breaking today by provincial and college officials. This is great day for Northwest Community College. The construction of this campus will create 107 direct local jobs, and when its completed, the building will, over the years, give thousands of students access to a post-secondary education close to home, said Moira Stilwell, Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development. This partnership with the federal government and NWCC demonstrates what can be achieved when we all work together. The Smithers campus main building is being upgraded and expanded to accommodate additional mining and mineral exploration programs including Geo-Science Technician and Environmental Monitoring Assistant, as well as Adult Basic Education (formerly Adult Special Education) and Health Care Aide (formerly Home Support and Long Term Care Aide). Through the renewal of college and university facilities, our researchers will have the tools they need to be global leaders in their fields and pursue world-class excellence, said the Hon. Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway. Attracting and retaining workers who drive innovation and growth in the global knowledge economy strengthens Canadas position as a world leader in science and technology to the benefit of all Canadians. This Gold LEED project will occur in two phases. Phase 1, the expansion, is slated for completion by August 2010, and Phase 2, the renovation of the existing campus, will be complete in 2011. This project will upgrade aging infrastructure, improve health and safety, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance the learning environment for students by consolidating into a single building, said NWCC President Stephanie Forsyth. These much needed improvements will provide facilities for enhanced distributed learning and trade and science offerings. Once complete, the campus will feature wet and dry science labs, a multi-purpose shop, as well as improved video conferencing and distance education facilities. This is one of 40 projects at post-secondary institutions across the province funded through a joint federal-provincial investment of $497 million. The total investment in these projects is $519 million including contributions from institutions. This project is also part of an overall $14-billion capital infrastructure program supported by the Province that will create up to 88,000 jobs and help build vital public infrastructure in every region of B.C. Canadas Economic Action Plan sets out to stimulate the Canadian economy over the next two years and to improve our long-term competitiveness through $12 billion in new infrastructure investment, which includes the $2-billion Knowledge Infrastructure Program. For more information on the provincial governments three-year job creation plan, visit www.gov.bc.ca/infrastructure. For more information about the federal Knowledge Infrastructure Program visit www.ic.gc.ca/knowledge-infrastructure.

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