Skip to content

Carpenters’ union opens Thunder Bay training centre

New trades training centre
Thunder Bay trades training centre
A new Thunder Bay trades training centre is now open and ready to receive its first intake of students.

A new Thunder Bay trades training centre is now open and ready to receive its first intake of students.

Located within the Innova Industrial Park, the 12,000-square-foot building features two classrooms with capacity for 25 students each, plus a large open-concept training area with 30-foot-high ceilings for scaffolding, fork trucks and suspended swing stage (work platform) programs.

The $5.5-million building was designed by FORM Architecture Engineering and built by Finn Way General Contractors, both of Thunder Bay.
The first intake of 12 trainees was expected in early September.

Rather than renting space around town to train, Wayne Sohlman, president of Carpenters’ Local 1669, said this is the first time they’ve had a dedicated facility to offer those skills most in demand in northwestern Ontario and expand their programming.

“Everybody’s doing working-at-heights training right now, but in the academic portion of it. For the swing stage training, there hasn’t been a facility to train for these particular aspects,” he said. “We’ll be able to do that in Thunder Bay.”

Sohlman said there’ll be some tie-in with First Nation groups such as Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services to offer them apprenticeship training in drywall.

“I’ve applied to be the training delivery agent for dry wall training. The closest our guys would have to go to (for training) would be Sudbury. If we get that (status), we’ll be able to take that here at home.

What equipment will be installed in the building has yet to be determined, he said.
“We’re not going to rush into tooling up (the facility) until we get our training delivering agent status for carpentry and the drywall.”

The bulk of the training centre’s financing came from various funds within the Carpenter’s Union.

The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund announced on Aug. 30 they were contributing a $1 million to the cause.