Finning donates tools to Diamond Jenness shop students

Christmas came early for shop students at Diamond Jenness Secondary School.

Two representatives from Finning, the Caterpillar equipment dealer, brought some second-hand tools to the school on Tuesday.

Three tool boxes were unloaded from the back of a pickup, each filled with basic tools that came from one of their shops at a mine site.

“It is a surplus Finning no longer uses,” said Gerry Drover, customer service manager for Finning Canada.

“It is a good starting point for the school,” he said.

“It frees up some of their budget for them to buy some of the bigger items that they need.”

He added that last year, a couple of Yellowknife schools received some tools. Finning felt that this year DJSS would be the ideal recipient.

“We had to find a home for the tools,” he said. “It was perfect timing with the opening of the new trade shop.”

The school’s new trades centre opened last fall.

But the donation also helps fuel Finning’s business, Drover explained.

All job applicants for Finning must be Northern residents.

By helping improve the shop programs, they will be ensuring that there is a good selection of future employees for the company.

“It is a win-win situation,” explained Finning’s local branch service manager Roman Moizis.

DJSS vice-principal Tim Borchuk said that the donation was huge for the school and for the shop which is celebrating its first anniversary this month.

“It is a huge donation for us,” said Borchuk. “Anything that we can get is greatly appreciated.”

He noted that this was not the only time a donation had been made since the trade centre’s opening. Last year Diavik donated some tools as well.

“We are just setting up the mechanic bay,” said Borchuk.

“When you get a company like Finning who is willing to donate, it is greatly appreciated. It’s huge for us. I can’t even begin to tell what those tools are worth. It’s that big.”

Borchuk estimated that the mechanic program was the most costly to set up, and without the help of donations it would be difficult to get the program up and running.

Similar situations arose with the construction and welding programs at the trades building but the programs are all off to a successful start – the mechanics program included.

“I think we’re going in the right direction here,” said Borchuk.