A Kelowna welding company, REIDCO Metal Industries Ltd., has taken a strong interest in Okanagan College’s welding and metal fabrication programs.
The program seems to be turning out some solid welders, as REIDCO just hired nearly a dozen workers for its Kelowna-based company.
REIDCO has been operating since 1981 and works in several industries including electronic and communication equipment, agriculture, lumber, mining, oil and gas, and the military.
“Okanagan College provides a good foundation of training that we can then contour for our purposes and projects,” said Bryan Johnston, president of REIDCO.
“We are working on truck parts, military parts, and seeing more from the resource industry.The job prospects are good, and there are a growing number of well-paying opportunities.”
REIDCO has started recruiting students even before they graduate.
A REIDCO sign hangs in the Trades Training Complex at the Kelowna campus in recognition of their donation to the new building.
"We’re pleased to support the College and it’s a great dividend to have well-trained employees coming to us," said Johnston.
The Trades Training Complex is a state-of-the-art building that took three years to complete and was one of Okanagan College's most ambitious projects in its 50 plus-year history.
The $35-million project officially opened on September 22nd, 2016 in Kelowna.
The facility provides enough space to train 2,700 students each year.
Nathan Kleger recently graduated from Okanagan College and is now working for REIDCO.
“My job has been the perfect complement to the Welding Foundation course,” said Kleger. “REIDCO has a core of experienced workers who have gone out of their way to help us transition from what we learned in school to doing quality production work in the shop.”
“I'm still learning every day but now I'm also part of a team and building a career at the same time,” said Kleger.
The College offers a number of program options leading to careers in the welding industry, and has rotating start times for the Foundation program at their Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, and Salmon Arm campuses. The Kelowna campus offers Welder Apprenticeship training, Multi-Alloy metal welding, and Metal Fabrication.
“If you’re looking for a good job and are willing to train and work hard, apprenticeship trades training in welding at Okanagan College may be an ideal option,” said Sean Jarvis, Chair of the Welding program.
REIDCO METAL INDUSTRIES LTD. was first incorporated in 1981.
REIDCO operates out of a 65,000+ sq. ft. manufacturing facility, located off Highway 97 near Adams Road.
Okanagan College first started as the B.C. Vocational School in 1963.
The new build included upgrades to existing facilities and was built to meet LEED Platinum standards making it a sustainable trades training facility - standing out around the world for sustainable trades training facilities.
The project was both provincially and locally funded with $28 million coming from the province and $7 million fund-raised through Bright Horizons and Building for Skills campaign.