Monthly Archives: April 2016

Niagara College receives $1.4 million in provincial funding for Green Tech Automotive Lab

Niagara College has received more than $1.4 million from Ontario’s Apprenticeship Enhancement Fund program to build a Green Tech Automotive Lab at its Welland Campus.

The project allows Niagara College to expand its focus on green technologies in its automotive programs – an area where Niagara College is already ahead of the curve.

The 3,600-square-foot Green Tech Automotive Lab will be an extension of the existing automotive facilities at the Welland Campus’s Rankin Technology Centre. It will include open bays, a work area and classroom, and will house the latest in green automotive technologies, including electric charging stations, alternate fuel technology, diagnostic equipment, green technology simulators, and electric and hybrid vehicles.

“Our government always talks about the importance of Building Ontario Up, and our talented skilled tradespeople are literally doing that in every corner of our province. Ontario’s apprenticeship training system, supported by employers, colleges and unions, is a crucial part of our plan to build the highly-skilled workforce we need to compete, and I’m proud that we are supporting so many projects that will bring new equipment and high demand training programs to the local markets that need it.”
– Reza Moridi, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities

“I’m thrilled that our government is making a major investment to ensure Niagara apprentices receive the highest standard of training. The improved facilities and training programs announced today will give apprentices the hands-on experience they need to thrive in the skilled trades, and contribute to our economy.”
– Jim Bradley, MPP St. Catharines

“Whether it’s through our academic programs or our commitment to environmental responsibility in our operations, Niagara College is a leader in sustainability and we’re pleased to build on the renewable technologies offered through our automotive programs,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “We’re very grateful for the provincial government’s investment in this important area.”

The project will enhance the green automotive technology resources available to students in Niagara College’s Motive Power Technician, Motive Power Techniques, Automotive Service Technician apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs. It will also expand capacity in the Automotive Service Technician program by 20 students.
“This investment positions our Automotive Services Technician program as a leader in clean technology,” Misheck Mwaba, Niagara College’s dean of Media, Trades and Technology. “Our graduates will be equipped with the skills and knowledge required by industry. With the new equipment we will also be able to work with our industry partners to train their workforce in electric and hybrid vehicle technologies.”

“The automotive industry is moving more toward hybrid and electric vehicles and we need to ensure that we have technicians who are well trained in these emerging technologies,” said Graham Keene, president of Canadian Tire Store 162 in St. Catharines. “Today’s announcement is great news for Niagara’s automotive industry and for future automotive technicians.”

Construction of the Green Tech Automotive Lab will begin in June 2016, with completion scheduled for March 2017.

Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Niagara Falls; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit

Media inquiries, please contact:

Michael Wales
Senior Communications Officer
Office: 905.735.2211 ext. 7773
Cell: 905.328.4101

Julie Greco
Communications Specialist
Office: 905.735.2211 ext. 7368
Cell: 905.328.2532

Many Hands Project reveals special renovation at Heartland Forest

The Event Management program’s Many Hands Project revealed a newly renovated space at Heartland Forest on April 6.

Students transformed Sydney’s room, a space intended to provide clients with a quiet space to relax which had been used as a storage room. The room is dedicated to owner Dan Bouwman’s granddaughter Sydney who passed away in 2009 at the age of 12 from Lissencephaly – a rare brain formation disorder.

Over the past few months, the Many Hands Project committee planned, designed and renovated the room. Students put paintbrushes in hand and completely transformed the clutter-filled room into a tranquil and relaxing space by adding a splash of calming colour to the walls, created a feature chalkboard wall, added comfortable lounging chairs, a new television and DVD player.

The students gave the first look of the space to Sydney’s mother, Jacqueline Burciul, who was also joined by daughters Taylor and Avery. Owner Dan Bouwman; executive director, Elisabeth Graham; Natalie Kind and Nancy Cameron from Canadian Tire Bank; event management program coordinator, Christine Blane; and faculty member April Tyrell were also in attendance as the Many Hands Project committee revealed the room. After seeing the room for the first time in its new capacity, Bouwan shared the story of how the idea of Sydney’s Room came to be; a touching moment for all in attendance.

In addition to the room renovation, the College’s Renovation Technician students and faculty members built a number of cabinets and installed them in the organizations offices. This provided Heartland Forest with extra storage space to ensure Sydney’s Room would remain as it was intended to be.

Students also presented Champion of Hope and lead sponsor of the 19th annual Many Hands Project, Canadian Tire Bank, with a plaque that will hang at the entrance of the room. Without the organizations generous contributions this project would not have been possible.

Heartland Forest is a unique natural attraction located in Niagara Falls. It is a registered charitable organization with a passion for all ages and abilities. The property includes easy access trails, gardens, carvings, turtle, frog and fish ponds, picnic and interpretative areas. Heartland Forest offers year-round access and is seen as a leading example of accessibility, an active lifestyle and environmental stewardship.

The Many Hands Project is a student-driven renovation program executed by the College’s Event Management and Construction Renovation Technician students. Each year, one local non-profit organization is chosen by the Many Hands Committee to undergo significant renovations that will benefit the entire community. Together, students plan and execute the entire process including: the four fundraising events, completing the desired renovations, involving the community through volunteer recruitment and raising awareness for the non-profit organization. The Many Hands Project is proudly in its 19th year of supporting communities within the Niagara Region.

Habitat house built at Welland Campus moves to permanent site

On a blustery, snowy and unusually cold April 4, Niagara College Construction Techniques students and faculty, along with the Niagara Volunteer Framers Association, and operators of cranes, flatbed trucks and many others, moved the Habitat for Humanity Niagara modular house from the college’s campus to 246 Martin Street in Welland.

Each of the sections was rolled outside and lifted by crane to a flatbed truck, then slowly driven to Martin Street where another crane lifted the pieces into place and the Niagara Volunteer Framers Association connected it all with precision.

Built as part of Habitat’s Youth Building Program, in partnership with the College’s Construction Techniques and Renovation Technician programs, 70 students have been working on the construction of the modular Habitat home since September. This is the 11th home built as part of the Habitat/Niagara College partnership but it’s the first time that the house is being constructed in a modular style on the Niagara College Campus in the Rankin Technology Centre.

The final construction will take place over the next two months with the help of community groups and corporate volunteers.

Volunteers included Niagara College Renovation Technician Construction graduate (2011) Mike Barnfield, who now owns and operates his own roofing company, Barnfield’s Residential Roofing Ltd. Barnfield, who as a student participated in the College’s Habitat Niagara Build on Fraser Street, has now volunteered his services to complete the roof on the Habitat home.

The raised bungalow is the future Habitat home for the Palma family and their three children. For more information about the Palma family click here:

The raised bungalow is the future Habitat home for the Palma family and their three children. For more information visit



Students build house to go, Welland Tribune

Niagara College rolls out modular home, Erie Media