Durham College (DC) is pleased to announce the Whitby campus has received a significant donation of $150,000 from Bird Mechanical Ltd, whose chief executive officer, Brandon Bird is a DC graduate, Alumnus of Distinction, and Premier’s Award nominee. The generous donation will go toward the Building for Skills expansion campaign, which has now raised $5.3 million of its $10 million goal, supporting a 60,000-square-foot addition to DC’s Whitby campus. When completed, the expansion will allow 750 more students to study skilled trades and professions each year.
“We are extremely grateful for the support of Bird Mechanical Ltd. Brandon is a long-time supporter of his alma mater. He has contributed his time and talent as chair of DC’s Mechanical Techniques – Plumbing Program Advisory Committee, donated in-kind to our skilled trades programs, and is now helping to fund the Building for Skills campaign. This gift will help the college train the next generation of skilled tradespeople and professionals for the benefit of employers across southern Ontario and beyond,” said DC President Don Lovisa.
Working in various roles for his family’s third-generation plumbing and heating company, Brandon knew he would need a solid foundation before he could take over leadership of the business. He enrolled at DC and completed his Level 3 Plumber Apprentice Certificate in 2012. A licensed Red Seal plumber, he returned to the company and continued working his way up the ranks and in 2016, at just 29 years old, Brandon became the youngest CEO in the company’s history. Under his tenure, the business has successfully grown, especially following the acquisition and amalgamation of John McKenzie Plumbing, allowing Bird Mechanical to offer more services and enter new markets, including Atlantic Canada. Brandon continues to strategically expand the business and today, he oversees a team of 100 employees, 70 of whom work as tradespeople.
“Increasing the number of skilled tradespeople being trained by Durham College will help employers meet the need for talent in the construction and industrial trades. We believe in what DC is doing and are pleased to support this campaign,” said Bird.
Construction continues at DC’s Whitby campus with plans to open in fall 2021. For more information on how to support Building for Skills, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.