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Pictou Campus trades, innovation centre named in honour of former NS Premier John Hamm

November 30, 2018 – Media Release

Stellarton, NS – The new NSCC Pictou Campus trades and innovation centre has been named in honour of former area MLA and premier, the Hon. Dr. John Hamm. Under Hamm’s leadership, the College received a landmark investment of $123-million in 2003 that served as a catalyst for growth. At the time, the former premier called the development initiative, "the single, largest investment that government has made".

The Hon. Dr. John F. Hamm Trades & Innovation Centre, announced during the centre's official opening ceremony today (Nov. 30) in Stellarton, provides the campus with a specialized training space for students enrolled in carpentry, cabinetry, motor vehicle repair and heavy duty equipment programs. The new centre will provide a modern, high performance shop space. Envisioned as an innovation hub, the 28,000 square foot building features specialized training space that will motivate cross-collaboration amongst skilled-trades students. It is anticipated that in addition to helping instil industry-ready skills, the new facility will boost entrepreneurship activity in the area by serving as a specialized trades and applied research space for the broader community.

Speaking at the event on behalf of Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Sean Fraser, Member of Parliament for Central Nova, says, "Our Government understands the value of making significant investments in small communities like ours. This multi-million project created more than 100 good paying jobs during the construction of a new world class learning environment. More importantly, the students who walk these halls today will move into good paying and high demand jobs of the future. Our shared vision is a more skilled workforce who can stay and work right here in Pictou County."

Construction of the Dr. John F. Hamm Trades & Innovation Centre was initiated through a $15.2 million investment, $6.9 million from the federal government and $8.3 from the provincial government announced in 2016. The funds were directed through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) — a federal-provincial partnership that funds modernization and sustainability improvements at post-secondary-based research facilities.

"Our people − and their skills – are Nova Scotia's best resources," says Randy Delorey, Minister of Health and Wellness on behalf of Premier Stephen McNeil. "Government's investment in this space is an investment both in them and in our province, creating a path for our collective success in the long term."

NSCC President Don Bureaux says, "The Hamm government, and the current governments – both federal and provincial − have shown a deep appreciation for the need to properly equip our province with a skilled and educated workforce." He explains, "The 2003 investment modernized infrastructure and transformed NSCC into the economic and social catalyst it has become and enhanced the college with continued investments like those recognized today. We hope that students who study in this new facility are encouraged by Dr. Hamm's vision for Nova Scotia and are inspired by his conviction in the unlimited power of education."

The LEED Gold Candidate building features an HVAC system that is heated by a south-facing solar wall. In keeping with the College's sustainability priority, the new centre includes systems and features designed to reduce energy and water consumption, including a solar wall, geothermal heating and cooling, solar hot water panels and low flow fixtures. The use of sustainable and locally-sourced building materials throughout the design and construction of the project was another example of our commitment to making sustainability a priority.

Dr. Hamm, a native of Pictou County, practised as a rural general practitioner in his community for 30 years. He entered provincial politics in 1993 as MLA for Pictou Centre. He served as premier of the province from 1999 to 2006. The original provincial investment modernized college infrastructure at its campuses throughout Nova Scotia. This added space for an additional 2,500 students – a 25 percent increase in terms of new seats and new opportunities for all those wishing to enhance their education. The investment also realized a new, state-of-the-art campus on the Dartmouth waterfront – a site that has become a showcase for sustainability.

About NSCC

NSCC is committed to building Nova Scotia's economy and quality of life through education and innovation, transforming Nova Scotia one learner at a time. Serving the province through a network of 13 campuses, the College offers 130 plus programs in five academic schools — Access, Business, IT & Creative Industries, Health & Human Services, and Trades & Technology — reflecting labour market needs and opportunities in Nova Scotia. NSCC's primary goal: student success. In an annual survey of its graduates, the College has found 87% are employed, most in their field of choice, with 93% of those employed living and working in Nova Scotia.

For more information

Kathleen Cameron, NSCC
Manager, External Relations


Shannon Kerr
Media Relations Advisor
Labour and Advanced Education


Neil Stephen
Director of Operations
Office of Sean Fraser, Central Nova MP