The city of Yorkton has donated land as the future home of the proposed Parkland College Trades and Technology Centre.
The land, bordered by York Road and Darlington Street and located between Highway #9 and Dracup Avenue, is valued at $3.48 million. It will conform to education tax incentives and, as land used for educational purposes, will be considered tax-exempt. The City and the College have agreed to a symbolic purchase price of one dollar.
Yorkton Mayor James Wilson said the donation of land is really an investment in the future.
“The Trades and Technology Centre is urgently needed in our region today and into the future,” said Wilson, adding the land donation is a timely one.
“It’s a valuable investment that will bring us a huge return,” he said, suggesting there will be a 15 per cent return to the community for every dollar invested.
Dr. Fay Myers, President of Parkland College said the donation is a major element of the local fundraising effort, that includes a capital fundraising project targeted to raise $4.9 million of the $14.9 million project.
Wilson said for the facility to move forward it will take many local partners.
“It’s going to take a contribution from everyone to make this a success,” he said.
Wilson cited an existing “shortage of skilled labour” in the region, adding provincial government numbers suggest there will be a need for an additional 1000 “skilled workers needed in the Parkland Region each year for the next 10-years.”
The Trades and Technology Centre would help address some of those needs.
Wilson said as it is now local region businesses are having to recruit all over the world. He said the new centre will be an opportunity to train skilled workers here to fit local business demand.
“More of our youth will be able to find good jobs right here at home,” he said.
Myers said they recognize the demand noting when they talk to local businesses they learn quickly “just how much they need this facility …”
Myers called the land gift “the foundation” on which a facility will be built to provide training for hundreds to build careers from “into the future.”
As for when the Centre might move forward with construction, Myers said that will depend on when the province comes up with its funding share. While in constant contact with government, she said the “time of investment by the Saskatchewan government is unknown.”