Surrey, BC. A 14,000 square foot addition to the Finishing Trades Institute of BC (FTI) was opened today to train BC workers in industrial painting, an essential skill in the construction of such projects as LNG export terminals, energy pipelines, and waste treatment plants.
The $4 million expansion was funded entirely by District Council 38 of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades which represents more than 2,000 men and women working through BC as painters, glaziers, wall and ceiling installers, lathers and drywall finishers, hazardous materials abatement specialists, and water blasters. The FTI now totals 40,000 square feet of customized shops and classroom space.
“We did not ask for taxpayer funding to make this investment, just as we did in establishing the FTI in 1992,” says Dave Holmes, Business Manager. “We see it as a prudent, long-term investment in the future of construction in BC and in the future of our members and the union. With this expansion the FTI can now accommodate 350 union and non-union students each year in four construction and finishing trades. There is nothing like it in western Canada.”
“We and our contractors see a strong demand for skilled and experienced finishing tradespeople in BC and it is up to us to train workers to fill these jobs,” says Holmes.
“This expansion will house some of the latest industrial technology, providing BC tradespeople with relevant, modern training,” says Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation, and Citizen’s Services. “Our province needs skilled tradespeople today and into the future; I’d like to congratulate IUPAT District Council 38 and the Finishing Trades Institute of BC on this new addition, which will increase capacity for training.”
FTI instructors and courses provide Red Seal apprenticeship training in painting and decorating, glazing (fabrication and installation of windows and specialty glass), wall and ceiling construction, and drywall finishing. The FTI also provides BC’s most advanced training in the safe removal and handling of asbestos and other hazardous materials in the commercial and residential sectors.
DC38 traces its roots to 1899 when six painters formed a BC local.