The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) held a naming ceremony to recognize Concert Chairman & CEO David Podmore for his long-term relationship with the institution. A group – which included speakers Paul McCullough, BCIT Vice President, Advancement; Jack Davidson, BCIT Board Chair and President & CEO of BC Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association; Tamara Pongracz, Program Head for Trades Discovery; and, Kathy Kinloch, BCIT President – gathered to unveil a commemorative plaque at the foot of the Dr. David Podmore Gallery.
For the last 20 years David Podmore has been actively involved in expanding opportunities for BCIT students. Back in the mid-1990s labour shortages in the province were compounded by the fact that careers in trades training were not typically presented as a viable option, and very little financial support was available for students pursuing a construction industry career.
At that time, when Podmore gathered a group of 26 industry leaders in the basement of the old Georgia Hotel, he could not have guessed that his proposal to initiate a trades discovery program would grow to what it has become. Podmore’s industry partners, many of whom immediately jumped in to commit $3-5K per year for three years to initiate the program, likewise recognized the value that an investment in education would bring.
With a total of $2.7M raised to date, Concert has established three separate financial legacies for BCIT: the Concert Properties Ltd. Bursary Endowment, which provides bursaries to 100 deserving trade-related students each year; the Concert Properties and Industry Partners Trades Discovery Program, which helps students pursue trades training in a chosen field; and the Concert Properties Founders Endowment in Honour of Bill Clark, which provides bursaries to students in the Telecommunication Technician and Wireless Communications and Computer Network Technology programs.
“I’m thrilled with where we’ve ended up after 20 years. Today it’s about so much more than construction trades – BCIT is a degree granting institution in all of the disciplines that our company is involved in,” said Podmore at the event. “It’s very nice to be recognized but this isn’t really about me. Today is about the individuals in the room who have supported us for two decades.”
Podmore also took the opportunity to reveal one more surprise for BCIT: as a result of Concert’s 2016 golf tournament, which took place in early September, an additional donation of $125,000 will be given to the Trades Discovery Program.