New Waterfront Training Centre
The BCMEA is pleased to announce the recent purchase of 4.7 acres of industrial riverfront land on the western end of Mitchell Island in Richmond, BC. The land will be used to relocate and expand the BCMEA’s Waterfront Training Centre currently operating at Lynnterm East Dock in North Vancouver.
In October of 2011, the BCMEA’s Board of Directors approved a budget of up to $10 million for the land purchase and development costs. This move was precipitated by a number of factors including the conclusion of a long-term “subsidized rent” agreement with Port Metro Vancouver and the need for a permanent home to install the recently-approved training crane.
Since then, the BCMEA has worked with an internal team and a group of third-party contractors in order to conduct a number of due diligence activities, develop the scope and cost of an initial site plan, subdivide the land, and secure an increase from the 20 meter maximum height allowance to 50 meters in order to accommodate working crane heights. The information gathered throughout this work was then presented to the Executive Committee of the BCMEA’s Board of Directors on September 12, 2012 who provided a unanimous approval for the purchase.
The new facility will strengthen the value proposition of the BCMEA’s training product through a number of channels. The centrally-located facility will allow for the training of both Lower Mainland and Island operations, and will provide a controlled environment to enable the safe delivery of a diverse set of training programs all at a single site. Eventually, BCMEA’s training programs will be much less dependent on cargo and equipment availability, will have a reduced impact on terminal productivity, and will result in less equipment and cargo damage.
Our objective is to take as much training out of production as we can. It's more efficient, it’s safer, and provides better over all control for a better over-all product.
Through the training facility, the BCMEA will also harness the ability to provide simultaneous training of several programs through the creation of a number of exercises which resemble live operations. In addition, the facility will capitalize on the economies of scale savings available to skills assessments and upgrade programs, and will provide an opportunity for continuous oversight and associated efficiency improvements.
The initial development will allow for the delivery of training programs from all sectors. These programs include Topside, Lift Truck, Tractor Trailer, Front End Loader, Bulldozer, and all Pre-Employment and Labouring programs. In addition, the facility is capable of future expansion to offer equipment-based training for the Heavy Lift Truck, Rubber Tired Gantry, Dock Gantry, and Bulk Equipment programs.
The ultimate goal of the new facility is to promote the success of BCMEA customer-members through an improved training product. By doing so, the facility will help to improve the competiveness of BC ports, and is also expected to receive international attention by putting the BC waterfront on the map with regards to World-class industrial training.
The facility will be located at 11000 Twigg Place, Richmond. Planning and development will begin in October of 2012, and operations are expected to commence in the summer of 2013.