News and Events

UA Local 496 gives students real world experience through $25,000 donation

November 14, 2014

The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada’s Local 496 chapter committed to more than just internships at Medicine Hat College (MHC) according to Walter Garrison, manager of innovation and scholarship. They invested in the future of the institution and its students.

In 2013, UA Local 496 committed $25,000 to a three-year internship program available to all MHC students. The first students to benefit from this initiative came from the computer aided drafting and design (CADD) and visual communications programs. The internship this year focused on providing students an opportunity to learn about 3D printing and its real world application by being part of, and compensated for, applied research and innovation projects.

With year one complete, Garrison is optimistic of the results already achieved; “This funding has allowed us to push the limits of the [3D printing] lab and to do exploration that current resources didn’t allow for; work that may have some positive research and programming ramifications. It also allowed us to provide students an opportunity to work directly with industry, on projects with relevance, while being mentored by staff and faculty.”

Jonathan Morrison, a CADD student at the college, was one of the first candidates to participate in the internship. “Morrison was focused on what he wanted to do. He had some real-world experience as a motorcycle mechanic [and an interest in modifying engine mods and custom builds]; so his background along with the technical training from his program and exposure to the modelling aspect made him a really good fit.”

In real, a bi-annual MHC publication Morrison explains that he was grateful for this unique opportunity. “It has been a great experience for my first year- interacting with industry, seeing what they need and want, and learning how I can tune my education towards [those expectations].”

Medicine Hat College is excited about their partnership with UA Local 496 and thankful for their generous contribution.

Interested in reading Jonathan Morrison’s full story? Check out the online version of real at

Are you a company interested in making your match at MHC? We encourage you to contact our foundation office to learn about the opportunities available to invest in our students, our college and our community. 

Learn more; contact Trish O'Grady, development officer at and 403.502.8997 or Jenna Williams, community relations officer at or 403.529.3897.