The Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation, in conjunction with Seaspan, announced multi-year, multi-million dollar donations to benefit the future of British Columbia’s marine industrial sector.
The commitment totals $2.9 million and includes a three-year, $900,000 donation by the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation to three institutional trades training programs in Canada. This donation has been given in support of the Industrial and Regional Benefits Policy program under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). The donation recipients include the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) to support Aboriginals in trades, Camosun College to support women in trades, and the Canadian Welding Association (CWA) Foundation for both new welding equipment and teacher professional development.
The commitment also consists of a $2 million donation by Seaspan, announced earlier this year, to support innovative teaching and research for the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering programs at University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Applied Science. The donation is a direct result of Seaspan’s Value Proposition obligations under the NSS.
The Foundation’s three-year commitment will extend through 2018, while UBC will receive Seaspan’s multi-million dollar commitment over the next seven years.
The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation’s charitable donations are among the organization’s largest direct donations of their kind in Canada. On July 25, 2013, Seaspan, on behalf of the Foundation announced a multi-year donation of $1.1 million for three B.C. marine and port community charitable organizations – Sail and Life Training Society, Vancouver Maritime Museum and Royal Canadian Marine Search & Rescue. Since its inception, the Foundation and the Washington Family’s personal contributions to charitable causes total more than $204 million in the U.S. to hundreds of organizations that focus on education, health and human services, arts and culture, and community service.
“BCIT is proud to support nearly 1,500 Indigenous students on their unique educational paths each year,” said Kathy Kinloch, President of BCIT. “In partnership with Seaspan, BCIT is pleased to launch the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation Open Arms Project, which will open doors to trades education programs for an additional 100 Indigenous students over the next three years.”
“This is a breakthrough moment for women entering the trades. Camosun College’s new $35 million trades complex gives us the capacity for up to 1,000 additional trades students, many of whom will be women thanks to this generous support from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation,” said Sherri Bell, President, Camosun College. “Our $5 million TRADEmark of Excellence Campaign is transforming Camosun into the trades education powerhouse of the [west] coast.”
“Providing students with a positive and safe welding experience at the high school level will help ensure the continuation of welding at the post-secondary level and then as a career choice,” said Deborah Mates, Executive Director, CWA Foundation. “This generous donation will enhance welding programs at the high school level, with the hopes that these welding professionals will come right back to Seaspan.”
“Graduates from UBC’s masters programs in naval architecture and marine engineering are primed for careers leading ship design and shipbuilding operations throughout the marine sector,” said Marc Parlange, Dean of UBC’s Faculty of Applied Science. “Seaspan’s investment supports our leadership in graduate education and research that will advance B.C.’s shipbuilding and marine industries into the future.”