The City of Yorkton announced Monday that it is donating 20 acres of land to Parkland College to be used as the future site of the new Trades and Technology Centre.
The land, bordered by York Road and Darlington Street and located between Highway 9 and Dracup Avenue, is valued at $3.48 million. It will conform to education tax incentives and, as land used for educational purposes, will be considered tax-exempt. The City and the College have agreed to a symbolic purchase price of one dollar.
“This is a major investment in providing more skills-based education right here at home in Yorkton to serve the growing economic needs of our city and the entire region,” said Mayor James Wilson.
“Labour trends suggest the Trades and Technology Centre is urgently needed,” Wilson continued. “Approximately 90 per cent of apprenticeship trades in the Yorkton-Melville area are experiencing a shortage of skilled labour. Projections from the Government of Saskatchewan show that 1,000 additional skilled workers will be required in the Parkland Region each year for the next 10 years.”
The facility is designed to meet current labour demands and will have the flexibility to adapt to the needs of the region in the future, according to Dr. Fay Myers, President of Parkland College.
“The new campus will have the capacity to deliver 350 full-time graduates per year in high-demand careers such as power engineering, motive power technicians and mechanics, welding, machining, and construction trades including carpentry and electrical. The facility will also provide skill enhancement and upgrading programs for 2,000 workers per year,” said Myers.
“For every dollar invested in Parkland College, taxpayers see a 15 per cent rate of return on investment,” Wilson noted. The figure was determined through a recent Economic Impact study. The study also found that “over 90 per cent of students trained through the college remain in the province and that translates to more of our youth being able to find good jobs here at home,” said Wilson.
Parkland College’s project represents a significant expansion of services and program delivery options that are not currently available in the region.