Richmond Review

Mitchell Island will be getting new $16 million crane training facility

On the job training for new crane operators manipulating objects weighing tonnes will become much safer with the opening of a new $16 million facility at the western edge of Mitchell Island this September.

Terry Bertram, spokesperson for the B.C. Maritime Employers Association, said $10 million was spent on the purchase and development of a parcel of empty land on Mitchell Island, with another $6 million invested in equipment at other sites that will be brought over.

The new facility will enable crane operators to first perfect their skills in an non-commercial environment, Bertram said. Not only does that mean greater safety, but no loss in productivity that might result from a new operator learning slowly on his job site.

The training site is currently in North Vancouver, and will be brought to Richmond.

And while a dock gantry crane—the type that transfers sea cargo containers between semi-trailers and ships—is in the long-term plans, a pedestal crane from Libherr Crane in Austria, and used to transfer lumber, steel and pulp, will be arriving this summer for training purposes.

Crane operators can earn six figures, and the new facility figures to train 2,500 people annually, from new workers to those interested in upgrading their skills.

The new 4.7 acre site has waterside access, and a video of the proposed facility is available at tinyurl.com/BCMEAMitchell

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