The first of many pieces of equipment purchased for trades and technology students with $1.39 million from the province is already in use at Thompson Rivers University.
The $50,000 engine was on display Friday as provincial, federal and municipal politicians as well as students and TRU officials attended a formal announcement of the funding.
Commercial transport mechanic student Will Harper told the press conference if he and his classmates are going to work in modern industries, they must train on the latest equipment.
“This system here, it’s state of the art,” he said, and pointed at the large, red and black engine.
Using mechanical terms, Harper explained that a vehicle equipped with the engine breathes out cleaner air than it takes in.
“This is huge,” said Harper.
Following the press conference, Harper’s classmate Matt Maidment and heavy-duty mechanic student Laura Munsen told The Daily News the engine is impressive.
“It’s nice to be able to touch something and work on something that’s going to show us what we’re eventually going to be working on in the shop,” said Maidment.
Munsen said students primarily learn on equipment that’s out of step with what they will work on in their carriers.
“It’s nice to have something new,” she said. “It’s way advanced.”
Langill said requests for proposals for other tools and equipment close next week.
Being able to learn on the latest technology is imperative, said Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake. There will be an increased shortage of skilled workers and the next generation needs to be well prepared for the workforce.
“We need to make sure younger people are trained for the jobs that are going to be created,” he said.