5th Wheel Training rolling due south.
Tapping into the highly populated southern Ontario market only makes sense for Northern Ontario's heavy equipment and truck driver training institute.
The new facility, located just off Highway 402, began its first intake of eight to 10 students on Jan. 23. Offering the same training courses, no-charge accommodation and services as its New Liskeard campus, the Warwick facility was the perfect fit for 5th Wheel.
"It was as if it was tailor-made for us," says Louise Philbin, educational director.
What was once a former elementary school being renovated into condominiums, the 13-acre property provides everything necessary for a student to live, train and learn the hands-on components of operating heavy equipment.
The students will be accommodated in condos during their training, and the school building provides classrooms and offices for the theoretical portion of the training. The yard also has a garage for servicing the vehicles and equipment.
In time, more condominiums will be developed to accommodate the campus' growth, Philbin says.
Presently, six people were hired, local to the southern Ontario area. Costs to set up and renovate the campus were approximately $1 million.
"It has taken us many years to get ready and we're poised to do this."
As the company continues to grow and meet market demands, Philbin sees additional campuses in locations throughout Ontario and possibly outside of the province. The New Liskeard facility will remain as the head office for administration, training, research and development, and quality control.
She adds that their Northern location may one day specialize to meet Northern demands, such as mining and forestry, just as the southern location will evolve to meet its southern market.
By ADELLE LARMOUR
Northern Ontario Business