STELLARTON – The new NSCC Pictou Campus trades and innovation centre has been named in honour of former Pictou Centre MLA and premier, Dr. John Hamm.
The Hon. Dr. John F. Hamm Trades & Innovation Centre plaque bearing his name was unveiled during the centre’s official opening ceremony on Friday.
Under Hamm’s leadership, the NSCC 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 centre provides the campus with a specialized training space for students enrolled in carpentry, cabinetry, motor vehicle repair and heavy duty equipment programs.
Envisioned as an innovation hub, the 28,000 square-foot building features specialized training space that is designed to encourage collaboration amongst skilled-trades students. It is anticipated that in addition to helping instill 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.
Construction of the 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.
“Our Government understands the value of making significant investments in small communities like ours,” Central Nova MP Sean Fraser said. “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.”
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-per cent 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.
“A stronger, more prosperous provincial economy depends on a successful community college,” Hamm said. “The college is making a difference in our province.”
Dr. John Hamm addresses gathering during official dedication of the Trades & Innovation Centre plaque named in his honour. (Goodwin photo)