Niagara College’s Green Automotive Technology Lab officially opens

Shamil Becharbhai, service manager at Henley Honda in St. Catharines, Carolyne Watts, plant manager at the St. Catharines GM Powertrain Plant and former chair of Niagara College’s Board of Governors, Niagara College President Dan Patterson, Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development employment and training consultant Line Breton, president of Niagara College’s Student Administrative Council Ryan Huckla, and St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley join second-year Motive Power Technician student Christenah D’Archi in officially opening NC’s new Green Automotive Technology Lab at NC’s Welland Campus. Niagara College photo

Students in Niagara College’s Automotive Service Technician Apprenticeship, Motive Power Technician, and Motive Power Techniques programs are surging ahead of their competition in tomorrow’s automotive industry, thanks to new technology and facilities available through NC’s Green Automotive Technology Lab.

The Lab and will be critical in preparing students in NC’s Motive Power programs for the rapidly evolving automotive sector by giving them access to the technology and tools that are driving that change.

In 2016, St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley announced $1.4 million of provincial funding for construction of the Lab through Ontario’s Apprenticeship Enhancement Fund program. The lab was officially opened at a special ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday afternoon, which saw a mock fuel pump give way to one of the lab’s electric vehicle charging stations in dramatic fashion.

“I was pleased that our government has made a major investment to ensure Niagara apprentices receive the highest standard of training. The improved facilities and training programs give apprentices the hands-on experience they need to thrive in the skilled trades, and contribute to our economy,” said MPP Bradley.

In addition to classroom space, the 3,600 square-foot addition to the Rankin Technology Centre at NC’s Welland Campus boasts electric vehicle charging stations, hybrid and electric motor diagnostic and simulation tools, and is home to several donated hybrid and fully electric vehicles that allow students unfettered access to the technology that will dominate the roads of the future.

The lab also features and tools and equipment to help students explore the future of ethanol, propane, diesel and other alternative fuel technologies, as well as autonomous, self-parking and collision-avoidance technologies.

The Green Automotive Technology Lab will also be a hub for research activities into the future of automotive technology, working in concert with NC’s Research and Innovation division.

“The cutting-edge technology and forward-thinking facilities in this new lab reflect Niagara College’s pre-emptive approach to applied education, which ensures our graduates are ready for the workplaces not only of today, but of tomorrow as well,” said Niagara College President Dan Patterson.

Christenah D’Archi is one of the students already benefitting from the new lab. In her second year of NC’s Motive Power Technician program, Christenah spoke about the new technologies and tool in the lab are helping her jump-start her career.

“This is technology and equipment that’s fast becoming the norm in the automotive industry,” said D’Archi. “This new facility, as well as our extremely talented faculty and our industry partners, I and my classmates will be graduating with the skills and knowledge we need to become leaders in the swiftly evolving automotive industry.”

The Green Automotive Technology Lab is part of Niagara College’s $64 million campus redevelopment project that will provide new and expanded facilities at the Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake campuses to support growth, enhance the student experience, and expand Niagara College’s research and innovation capabilities. Learn more at

Source – Niagara College press release



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