Instructor Will Schwarz stands front of the band saw at the UA Local 170 training facility. The band saw is one of the pieces of equipment that will be replaced with the new federal funding. (Grace Kennedy photo)

North Delta pipe-fitters’, plumbers’ union to get $600K in funding

The union will spend the federal money on new equipment for its training facility on Annacis Island

Delta’s local trades school will be able to get more equipment for its plumbing, sprinkler-fitting, welding and steamfitting students, thanks to $600,000 in federal funding.

Delta MP Carla Qualtrough announced the funding at the UA Local 170 training facility on Annacis Island on April 4.

“I’m very proud that we have this kind of facility in Delta,” Qualtrough said. “I talk about Delta being the engine of the Lower Mainland in many ways, having both Tilbury and Annacis Island. People don’t appreciate the amount of work that is done in our community, and it’s very exciting to be able to highlight that.”

According to union business manager Al Phillips, this is three times more than other UA Locals received from the government.

“That’s because we have a long history of doing this type of work,” he explained. “We’re well established with the federal government, they know who we are, they can go back and see our successes and stats.”

The funding, which came from the Union Training and Innovation Program, will go to support the purchase of several new pieces of large equipment, such as welding machines, a band saw, a new plasma machine and an iron worker, as well as new tools for the students. According to instructor Will Schwarz, each class needs a set of 18 tools and with more than 500 students going through the school each year, they get worn down easily.

The funding will also help support the school’s different labs, which give students a first hand look at the different types of pipes, boilers and sprinkler systems they could be working with in the field.

“It’s important for any learner to have new equipment to learn on,” said Barry Donaldson, executive director of the training facility. “This will help them learn on the latest equipment.”



grace.kennedy@northdeltareporter.com

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A UA Local 170 student walks over to the iron worker, a machine that the facility hopes to replace with the new federal funding. (Grace Kennedy photo)

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