Canadian Manufacturing

Fanshawe receives $2M donation from Crich family to fund skilled trades accelerator

by CM staff   

Manufacturing Operations Research & Development Public Sector apprenticeship construction Don Crich Skilled Trades Accelerator skilled trades trades program

The Don Crich Skilled Trades Accelerator is expected to open in spring 2023.

LONDON — Fanshawe College received a donation of $2 million from London’s Crich family. This is the largest individual donation in the College’s history, and will create the new Don Crich Skilled Trades Accelerator, housed at Fanshawe’s London Campus.

The Don Crich Skilled Trades Accelerator will be an entrance point for all members of the community to learn more about trades and share employment opportunities. The space is named for Don Crich, founder of Auburn Developments, TerraCorp Management, Auburn Homes and Stonerise Construction, who passed away in 2015. Crich was passionate about construction and was a mentor to many people who wanted to work in the trades.

“The opportunity to partner with Fanshawe College to celebrate my father’s legacy while simultaneously creating a unique space to support trades education in our community is extremely important to our family,” said Jamie Crich, President of Auburn Developments. “My sister, Karen, recognized it can be challenging for people who are interested in skilled trades to get started, and she saw community colleges as the link to helping people get into the field.”

The supply of workers is shrinking, and the number of jobs is expected to increase by 10 to 20 per cent over the next eight years. Fanshawe has more than 40 programs focused on skilled trades and apprenticeship, with more than 5,000 students studying in apprenticeship programs each year.


The Don Crich Skilled Trades Accelerator will be linked to the larger “Innovation Village” space at the centre of Fanshawe’s London Campus which will house large presentation space for industry fairs and employer recruitment events. It will also feature smaller spaces that can be used by members of the trades community to meet with students, run smaller events, showcase employment opportunities and host mentorship and project work for students enrolled in trades programs across Fanshawe.

Innovation Village, along with the new Welding Lab completed in spring 2022, represent an investment of over $60 million made by the College to upgrade and reimagine skilled trades educational spaces to meet the critical labour market shortages in our community.

The Don Crich Skilled Trades Accelerator is expected to open in spring 2023.


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