Students and representatives from Armstrong Co-op opening up the new tools. (Photo contributed)

Vernon skilled trades students receive new tool donation

Armstrong Regional Cooperative donated $5,000 to the new Trades Training Centre to purchase tools for the students.

A co-operative that has a nearly 100-year history in the community is supporting the next generation of skilled trades workers with a donation of new tools to Okanagan College Vernon campus.

Armstrong Regional Cooperative donated $5,000 to the new Trades Training Centre to purchase state-of-the-art tools for the students in the more than seven programs offered in the new Centre.

“A big part of our business model is supporting the community,” said Jason Keis, Armstrong Regional Cooperative Marketing and Sales Manager. “We were excited to invest in students entering the trades, especially as the trades are so connected to our business.”

Armstrong Co-op operates gas and convenience stores in Vernon, Salmon Arm and Armstrong as well as cardlock fueling stations. The company also offers fuel delivery within the Okanagan-Shuswap and many of those deliveries are to contractors and construction sites.

The donated tools were delivered on a pallet and unveiled to students. The new equipment ranged from air-powered nail guns to welding helmets, electric sanders and socket sets.

“We have a beautiful new trades facility and this donation means our students will have access to the very latest tools as well, so they’re training on the same equipment they’ll encounter when they step out onto the job site,” said Steve Moores, Dean of Trades at Okanagan College.

“We’re grateful to the Armstrong Regional Cooperative for supporting students – it sends a message to them that local employers believe in them and want to see them be successful in their chosen trades.”

Armstrong Regional Cooperative has a long history of supporting community through annual donations to a number of different organizations and community events. As a co-operative, the Armstrong Co-op is owned by its members who as owners, share in the co-op’s profits. Last year, the co-op returned just over $3.7 million in cash and equity to its 17,500 members.

“If you are not buying from a co-op, the money may be going somewhere else and not back to your community,” said Keis. “When you buy from your local co-operative, you’re truly supporting your community.”

Related: Okanagan College unlocks time capsule

Related: Okanagan College seeks to build student housing in Vernon, Salmon Arm, Kelowna

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