The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) announced today that a new Trades and Technology Centre to be developed at its Burnaby campus will bear the name of Vancouver-based real-estate developer Concert Properties in recognition of the company’s long-standing commitment to supporting trades training at the post-secondary institution.
Once completed, the Concert Properties Centre for Trades & Technology will provide a space for innovation in skilled trades and engineering, applied learning, research and industry collaboration, and build capacity for 700 additional students which will alleviate trades training waitlists and help to build up a healthy talent pool in BC. The Centre will also anchor the new and renewed nine-building Trades and Technology Complex (TTC), under development at BCIT, featuring a covered works yard, simulation-based learning areas, maker spaces, and power, welding and construction areas.
Concert donated $7.5 million as the Lead Donor for the Centre, which represents a key phase of BCIT’s INSPIRE Campaign that brought together government, industry partners, donors and alumni to usher in a new era of applied education at BCIT. It will also serve to bolster BCIT’s reputation as a future-forward learning community positioned at the intersection of innovation, technology and industry partnership.
“We’re extremely humbled and honoured to see our longstanding commitment to trades training programs and BCIT recognized in this way,” says David Podmore, OBC, Concert Co-Founder & CEO. “This Centre and these programs are key to equipping diverse, hardworking Canadians with the skills to secure well-paying jobs in construction, and we remain committed to working with our industry partners to find practical solutions to challenges that affect us all.”
In the mid 1990s, Podmore first brought together industry leaders to address a shortage of skilled trades labour and subsequently founded Concert’s Corporate Annual Charity Golf Tournament to raise funds for trades-training programs. In 2002, Podmore and industry partners launched and provided funding for BCIT’s Trades Discovery Program, which has helped people across BC explore and pursue careers in different construction trades for the past two decades.
Since the inaugural charity golf tournament was held in 1995 the annual event, and other initiatives led by Concert, have contributed over $2.4 million to the Trades Discovery Program. With the $7.5 million donation towards the new Centre, Concert’s total financial commitment to BCIT over the past quarter-century has reached nearly $10 million.
Podmore has also led the INSPIRE Campaign as chair since 2018, helping to bring over $100M in funding for the TTC and BCIT, which is the leading and largest provider of trades education in the province of British Columbia.
“The Concert Properties Centre for Trades & Technology will help meet the demand for an estimated 85,000 new trades jobs expected over the next 10 years in BC,” says Paul McCullough, Interim President, BCIT. “It will set a new standard for applied education, research and collaboration–where together we will advance education, industry and society.”
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Since 1989, Concert has proudly developed, acquired and managed Canadian real estate—making decisions based on our company values of quality, integrity and service in pursuit of building a people-first future. With over $8 billion in assets, we are backed and owned by over 200,000 Canadians, represented by union and management pension plans. We develop and manage rental apartments and seniors’ active aging communities; develop condominium homes; develop, acquire and manage commercial properties; and invest in, develop and manage public infrastructure projects across Canada. We also have ten mixed-use master-planned communities built or under development across Canada. In each business, our vision remains the same—building resilient, inclusive, sustainable communities. See more at concertproperties.com.
For more than 55 years, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) has been delivering flexible, relevant, and future-proof education that prepares learners to provide applied solutions to industry challenges – across BC and around the world. With five campuses and nearly 50,000 students enrolled each year, BCIT is one of BC’s largest post-secondary institutes. Through its unique applied education model, BCIT is empowering people, shaping BC, and inspiring global progress. Learn more at www.bcit.ca
About the INSPIRE Campaign
The INSPIRE Campaign is the largest fundraising initiative in BCIT’s 55-year history. Focused on raising funds for three pillars—Access and Inclusion, Teaching and Learning Innovation, and Campus Redevelopment—the Campaign is reimagining applied learning, research and collaboration at BCIT to become destination where the inspired dream, design and build the future of BC. Through INSPIRE, BCIT Foundation is helping today’s students become tomorrow’s leaders and continues to receive strong philanthropic support from industry, alumni, and individuals who recognize the importance of BCIT to the economic prosperity of BC. Learn more about the INSPIRE Campaign, including ways to join in building a strong and impactful community of philanthropy.