Richmond, BC, based machine shop supply distributor, Thomas Skinner, is continuing to go above and beyond in their support of machining trades in Western Canada. One avenue of continued investment for Thomas Skinner is the BC Metal Manufacturing Group (BCMMAG) fund, which has worked since its inception to spread awareness of the manufacturing sector to students and educators across the province of BC. Thomas Skinner has supported the BCMMAG since 2019 following discussions between longtime industry colleagues Paul Krainer, owner of Thomas Skinner and Modern Engineering general manager and BCMMAG founder Udo Jahn. “When Paul and I went to high school, there were woodworking, fabrication, and machining courses, have since disappeared,” noted Thomas Skinner General Manager, of Ross McDonald. “For years, Paul has been talking about how to get those programs back into high schools. When the BCMMAG was formed, he saw it as a great opportunity to connect with educators and get machine trades driven back into high schools, focusing on students younger than those attending the Polytechnics.” Thomas Skinner’s approach to generating increased interest in trades falls in line with the BCMMAG’s; connect and provide options to students as early as possible. “By the time a person leaves high school, they’ve often determined their path of education,” added McDonald. “If we can get the trades back into the Grade 8-12 curriculum, it’s much more likely students will carry on that path after graduating high school.” Beyond the BCMMAG fund, Thomas Skinner continues to support youth in trades in a number of ways.
“We work with our suppliers, particularly Haas Automation, to bring scholarships and bursaries to the polytechnics,” explained McDonald. “We also put a lot of energy into sponsoring and supporting the Skills Competitions at both the provincial and national levels. We supply the machine tools, support staff, booth set-up and equipment transportation for the competitions.”
McDonald hopes an earlier introduction to machining trades will help future workers enter the industry more prepared.
“The more resources and support we can supply early on, the more developed the students’ skill set will be as they enter the workforce.”
About Thomas Skinner
Thomas Skinner is the leading Western Canadian distributor of industrial metalworking, and machine shop supplies and equipment. Founded in 1904, and with four (4) locations across Western Canada, Thomas Skinner represents a comprehensive and carefully curated range of products produced by Best In Class manufacturers of CNC (computerized numerical control) and conventional machine tools, cutting tools, precision measuring instruments, tool holders, abrasives, work holding equipment, band saws, cutting fluids and other machine shop supplies. These products are backed by Thomas Skinner’s team of technical sales, service and operations professionals whose goal is to provide the highest level of aftersales support to enable its customers to be competitive and be a step ahead of today’s manufacturing challenges.