WINNIPEG – Manitoba Building Trades (MBT) unveiled its new $15 million skilled trades training facility, Manitoba Building Trades Institute (MBTI) on August 18th, 2021. Located in central Winnipeg, MBTI will support the critical need for skilled trade workers in Manitoba through a coordinated model of recruitment, training, employment, and advancement to ensure entry and retention in the skilled trades. MBTI is the largest ever private investment in a skilled trades training facility in Western Canada.
“A coordinated model of skilled trade recruitment and training is something that our province is in desperate need of,” says Sudhir Sandhu, CEO Manitoba Building Trades. “The building trade unions are no strangers to significant investments in training, it’s one of the reasons our workforce is a preferred choice for building some of Manitoba’s biggest projects. MBTI is just another piece in the training network our unions have been offering Manitoba for decades.”
MBTI will deliver Work Readiness Training, Diversity and Inclusion programming, Leading Technology Learning, and Sustainability and Future Skills. The MBTI facility features: 5 Technology classrooms, Computer Lab, 80 seat auditorium, Manitoba Building Trades Exhibition Hall, Aquaponic Greenhouse, Outdoor Gardens and Apiary, 30,000 sq ft of practical training areas, and the 1919 Centennial Atrium – future home to the 1919 General Strike exhibit curated by the Manitoba Museum.
“For far too long, the construction trades were not one of the first choices when choosing a career path after high school,” says Marc Lafond, President of Manitoba Building Trades. “Skilled trades are high paying jobs, you work with your head and your hands, you physically see your accomplishments daily. Of course, I’m biased, but the skilled trades are where it’s at.”
“The opening of MBTI is a shining example of our industry’s long-standing commitment to training and apprenticeships in the skilled trades. With over 195 training centres across the country, the Building Trades have long held training as a top priority, to turn out the highest-skilled, most well-trained workers in the industry,” said Sean Strickland, Executive Director, Canada’s Building Trades Unions. “Now, with a Federal Election being called, there’s an opportunity to increase support to train the next generation of skilled trades workers.”
MBTI Programming includes Safety and First Aid Certifications, Unionized Professional Development, Pre-employment, and Pre-apprenticeship programs focused on training models that best serve BIPOC participants. Programs are designed to serve the unionized construction workforce, while at the same time help with recruitment into the industry as a whole – supporting existing public college programs and Manitoba’s construction workforce capacity.