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Surrey Board of Trade expanding into city’s health and technology district

It’s bought a second location, partnering with Western Community College
Surrey Board of Trade press conference in Whalley Thursday reveals plans for Surrey Technology and Skills Centre, in partnership with Western Community College. (Photo: Anna Burns)

The Surrey Board of Trade is expanding its reach by purchasing a second location, in Surrey’s Health and Technology district in Whalley, as part of a co-ownership deal with Western Community College.

The board’s main office is at 101-14439 104 Ave. This second space, at 207-9639 137A Street, is expected to open in early 2023 and will be named the Surrey Technology and Skills Centre.

“As Surrey’s city-building business organization, the Surrey Board of Trade is using its fiscal equity to expand economic development projects to transform the board of trade/chamber of commerce business model, elevate local and regional market conditions, and enhance our profile,” Anita Huberman, CEO of the board, said Thursday. “We are extremely grateful to Western Community College for their partnership as we continue our workforce projects together, addressing the labour challenges of our business community. We are building a bridge between private education, as well as with our continued work with public education, to deliver an unparalleled value proposition to our members.”

Huberman said no other chamber of commerce or board of trade “is expanding in this way to meet the economic needs of our society and business community.

“This acquisition enhances the Surrey Board of Trade’s ability to meet our goals to support business and attract business,” she said.

Gurpal Dhaliwal is CEO of Western Community College, a private post-secondary institute founded in Surrey in 2012 with three campuses.

“Western Community College is committed to supporting businesses across the community in developing a highly trained and skilled workforce,” Dhaliwal said. “We have worked successfully with the Surrey Board of Trade on several federal and provincial labour market training programs to build a vibrant and digitally skilled labour force in Surrey. We are proud to be the educational training partner on this initiative.”

The Surrey Board of Trade states in a press release that the new Surrey Technology and Skills Centre will be “the premier centre for research, business, and innovation, creating local and global opportunities for the ecosystem that continues to expand at the Surrey Health and Technology District,” bridging education and business with a focus on global partnerships through the Surrey International Trade Centre “to support education and diversity.” It will feature health and technology training programs, international partnerships and Surrey International Trade Centre expansion, as well as an Indigenous Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre, Cyber Crime Centre of Excellence, Blockchain Centre of Excellence, Immigration Innovation Lab, and entrepreneurship hubs for women and youth.

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