Signature Homes, a fourth-generation Lethbridge-based custom home builder, along with its suppliers, tradespeople and building team, announced the donation of $101,122 to Lethbridge College as part of The College Home partnership on March 8, 2017. This is the sixth home built and sold to benefit the college’s new trades and technologies facility as part of the unique partnership between the Canadian Home Builders’ Association Lethbridge Region (CHBA) and the college.
“We’re thrilled to celebrate Signature Homes for its contributions in the third year of this collaborative partnership, as well as the many outstanding suppliers and tradespeople who worked on the home,” says Lethbridge College President and CEO Dr. Paula Burns. “We’re proud that many of the tradespeople who worked on this house learned their craft right here at the college. The new trades and technologies facility will ensure that future generations of skilled workers will have the quality instruction and state-of-the-art facility needed to continue meeting the needs of employers across the region.”
The college broke ground on the new trades and technologies facility in April 2014 and the first phase of the project opened in August 2015. The second phase of the new facility will open this fall and, once complete, will be the largest trades training centre south of Calgary.
Signature Homes has been building homes in Lethbridge for decades. Two generations and five brothers were involved when Peter Simons and Sons Construction began in the late 1950s. Richard Simons enrolled in Lethbridge College’s Carpentry Apprenticeship program and worked with both his dad and grandfather, spending years as a tile-setter before becoming a journeyman carpenter and venturing out on his own. Then, in 1998, he founded Signature Homes Ltd.
“Supporting this cause was a no-brainer because of my strong ties to the college, where I received my Carpenter apprenticeship training,” says Richard Simons, owner and CEO of Signature Homes. “We care about the future of our tradespeople and making sure that there is a place where students can learn from experienced instructors and move into jobs after graduation. This building will help make that possible.”
The College Home launched as a partnership between Lethbridge College and CHBA in 2013. The first three years of the five-year program involved two CHBA builders each year working with their suppliers and tradespeople to build two homes per year. Each builder then makes a donation from the proceeds from the sales toward the new trades and technologies facility at Lethbridge College. Year three of the partnership featured homes built by Daytona Homes and Signature Homes.
“The College Home is a truly unique partnership that has been talked about around the country,” says Angela Cornforth, CHBA Lethbridge Region president. “Trained and skilled workers are extremely important to the residential construction industry, so this has been a great collaboration for our members.”
The first five homes built as part of The College Home initiative raised more than $517,800 from the sales of the houses built by Ashcroft Master Builder, Galko Master Builder, Avonlea Master Builder, Stranville Living Master Builder and Daytona Homes. The fourth year of The College Home partnership is underway, with a home from Empire Homes now available for sale. The sale of this sixth College Home brings the total donations to the college from this project to more than $618,900.
The College Home partnership is part of the Possibilities are Endless campaign, an ambitious capital campaign that raised more than $27 million, thanks to generous donors like Signature Homes.