VCC Heavy Mechanical Trades Students Get the Latest Training in Clean Technology

To keep pace with the growing demand for clean technology, Vancouver Community College (VCC) has added to its growing fleet of electric machinery used for training and education. Students in VCC’s Heavy Mechanical Trades program will receive hands-on training to maintain and repair the Volvo ECR25, a compact excavator that is 100% electric.

As part of its Strategic Innovation Plan, the college is committed to developing sustainability initiatives that support climate action. The college already has an electric forklift and the Toyota Mirai – one of the first hydrogen vehicles available in the Canadian market.

“The Volvo ECR25 electric compact excavator will serve as an essential educational tool for students in the Heavy Mechanical Trades program at VCC,” says Lucy Griffith, Acting Dean, VCC School of Trades, Technology & Design. “Students will receive hands-on training in the operation, repair, and maintenance of the excavator, providing them with valuable, real-world experience in the newest technologies in heavy mechanical trades. The use of electric excavators is becoming increasingly common, and this acquisition will give students a competitive advantage in the job market.”

Adds Ben Goodarzi, Corporate Service Manager, Great West Equipment, “With the recent acquisition of the Volvo ECR25 electric, Vancouver Community College has demonstrated their support and commitment to develop a curriculum that will pave the way for clean energy education. By preparing students with the latest training and technological advancements, VCC is developing the technicians of tomorrow and leading the way to a more sustainable future.”

Future-Proofing Student Training

The province is aiming to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and is working with industry across sectors to move towards cleaner, greener technologies. There are many advantages to using electric machinery including: fewer emissions, noise reduction, and lower maintenance costs. With one of the largest working student garages in the province, it was important for VCC to move towards technologies that would benefit students in the program and align with government and industry initiatives.

“Obtaining the Volvo ECR25 electric compact excavator is not only in line with the college’s larger vision of moving towards clean energy and sustainable technologies, but it is also future-proofing our students for the in-demand jobs of a rapidly evolving industry,” says Ajay Patel, VCC president and CEO. “All skilled trades, especially heavy-duty equipment technicians, are in high demand in the province. Ensuring VCC students are trained on the latest technology will set them up for success as they launch their careers in the industry.”

Through VCC’s Heavy Mechanical Trades program updated curriculum, students will be introduced to the electric excavator throughout 2023.