On June 23, Canada-based marine services corporation Seaspan, in conjunction with a US charitable foundation, announced a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment in the future of British Columbia’s marine industrial sector.
The donation has been given in support of the Industrial and Regional Benefits Policy program under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy.
The commitment, totaling $2.9 million, includes a three-year, $900,000 donation by the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation to three Canadian institutional trades training programs: the British Columbia Institute of Technology to support Aboriginals in trades; Camosun College to support women in trades; and the Canadian Welding Association Foundation for both new welding equipment and teacher professional development.
In addition, the commitment also consists of a $2 million investment by Seaspan to support innovative teaching and research for the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering programs at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Applied Science.
“Seaspan is thrilled to honor four community and industry partners that are helping us develop and grow a shipbuilding and ship repair center of excellence in British Columbia,” CEO Jonathan Whitworth said in a statement. “Today’s announcement demonstrates an unwavering investment in attracting, training and retaining the labor force and expertise we need.”
The Foundation’s three-year commitment will extend through 2018, while UBC will receive Seaspan’s multi-million dollar investment over the next seven years.
“These investments will allow students to gain the skills they need to contribute to Canada’s economy,” Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains said. “They will also ensure that our shipbuilding industry will have the skilled tradespeople it needs to excel and grow.”
Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation is a 28-year-old Montana-based charity that has a primary mission of giving people tools to improve their lives. It furnishes grants to nonprofit organizations in the categories of education, health & human services, community service and arts & culture.
“Giving people the tools they need to succeed in life is a primary goal of the Foundation and the partnership with Seaspan to promote access to state-of-the art training in the trades is directly aligned with the mission and goals of the Foundation,” Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation Executive Director Mike Halligan said.