COTR starting new trades programs

Starting in February the College of the Rockies will be offering Steamfitter/Pipefitter and Metal Fabricator.

Starting in February the College of the Rockies will be offering two new trades programs in Cranbrook. The programs are Steamfitter/Pipefitter and Metal Fabricator.

Gwen Stewart, the college’s trades co-ordinator, said the new programs are part of an ongoing commitment to provide training to fill the need for skilled workers in the area.

“We are hearing from industry that there is a great need for workers in both of these trades,” Stewart said. “Currently the closest institution to offer Steamfitter/Pipefitter training is in the Okanagan.”

Alternatively, the COTR programs give students the opportunity to train in the East Kootenay, where there is demand for these skilled tradespeople, Stewart said.

The Steamfitter/Pipefitter program is pre-apprenticeship and it runs 21 weeks and includes classroom theory and hands-on experience in a shop setting. Successful graduates will leave with 375 work-based training hours and Level 1 technical training.

Pipefitters construct and repair piping systems that carry water, steam, chemicals and fuel. Steamfitters specialize in pipe systems that carry liquids or gases under high pressure.

The Metal Fabricator program is also foundation level and is 23 weeks long. It focuses on both classroom theory and experience in the workshop as well.

Graduates of the program will leave with 450 work-based hours and Level 1 technical training.

Metal Fabricators build, assemble and repair products made of metals like steel used in the manufacturing and construction industries. Fabricators’ work is often intricate and precise, and they can work for manufacturers of structural steel, boilers, plate workers, heavy machinery and transport equipment. They could also work in sheet metal fabrication or welding shops.

The programs start February 3.