Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs
April 30, 2007

Preparations for New College Campus Underway

A request for Expressions of Interest was released today seeking consultants to design a new facility for the Labrador West campus of College of the North Atlantic. The Honourable Joan Burke, Minister of Education, announced today details regarding this significant investment for the region, which has a projected value of approximately $18 million.

"It is important we have the infrastructure in place to support the existing needs of Labrador West region and be prepared to respond to the future needs of a high growth region," said Minister Burke. "There is a need for skilled tradesworkers in the area. The college plays an important role in producing graduates to meet labour market needs and to ensure the continued economic growth and development of the region."

Preliminary design planning has been approved and government is working with the Town of Labrador City to determine the site location. The building will be 48,100 square feet and will accommodate 250 students. It will include nine classrooms, a lecture theatre, shop space for apprenticeship and mining, two laboratories for physics and biology/chemistry, a library, cafeteria, and space for administration and student services. The building will also be designed to allow for growth in enrolment and programming. A $2 million investment from Budget 2007 will finance the first phase of construction of the building that will be designed to reflect regional needs.

The Honourable John Hickey, Minister Responsible for Labrador Affairs, said today�s announcement is just the latest example in a long list of initiatives the Williams Government is spearheading in Labrador. "The future for our children and Labrador overall has never been brighter," said Minister Hickey. "This government is shining the spotlight on the Big Land like never before and will continue to do so until the people of Labrador have the infrastructure and programs and services they need and deserve."

"This is exciting news for Labrador West and people all over the region are looking forward to a new and improved College of the North Atlantic," said Jim Baker, MHA for Labrador West. "The needs of labour, business, students and the entire community will be better served through this investment. Once again, government has demonstrated a strong commitment to Labrador."

To support local industry, the minister also announced that starting in September, two new nine-month apprenticeship programs will be offered � industrial mechanic (millwright) and construction/industrial electrician.

"We have heard from business and industry that they would like to see an increase in apprenticeship programs in the area. At the same time, students have commented that having to leave Labrador West for apprenticeship training causes financial hardships. Increasing program offerings is good news for everyone. Strengthening local training opportunities is one of the goals of this government as we work to ensure we have a skilled labour force to meet increased economic activity," said Minister Burke.

Budget 2007 includes significant investments to support apprenticeship and skilled training opportunities. College of the North Atlantic will receive an additional $8.2 million, recognizing it is in a unique position to offer training throughout the province. In total, an additional $2.8 million is being invested to improve the responsiveness of the skills training and apprenticeship system in the province, which in turn will drive economic growth.


Media contacts:

Jacquelyn Howard
Director of Communications
Department of Education
709-729-0048, 689-2624
David Salter
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
Labrador Affairs
709-729-3015, 691-3577

2007 04 30                                                  10:50 a.m.


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