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Bulkley Valley Credit Union Supports School of Exploration & Mining

The Bulkley Valley Credit Union (BVCU) has become the first non-industry, community organization to support the Northwest Community College (NWCC) School of Exploration and Mining with a $10,000 donation from its Economic Development Committee to the Schools endowment fund. Bulkley Valley Credit Union is a locally-based, member-owned financial institution with branches in Hazelton, Smithers, Houston and Burns Lake. The Economic Development Committee was formed as a vehicle for the Bulkley Valley Credit Union to help re-build the economy of the area. It annually donates funds to organizations that are working to bring new business ventures into the Credit Unions trading area. Dan Boissevain, chair of the BVCU Economic Development Committee, says The NWCC School of Exploration and Mining fits our mandate perfectly. It is training the workers who will be employed in the new mines that are coming on stream in northern BC. Those mines are going to be the economic drivers that will help to re-vitalize the economy of the Bulkley Valley. We are already seeing it happen with companies such as NovaGold and Western Keltic opening new offices in Smithers. Based in Smithers, the Northwest Community College School of Exploration and Mining is raising funds to support a new phase of training to prepare workers for the existing and new mines coming on stream. It has already trained hundreds of workers for the mineral exploration industry. NWCC President Stephanie Forsyth welcomes the contribution by the Bulkley Valley Credit Union. This vote of confidence from the local business community is important to us. We know the industry and government are onside with what were doing. The Credit Union contribution to the endowment fund begins a third stream of support that we see as a three-way partnership in growing the School of Exploration and Mining. To date, the School has raised close to $180,000 for the endowment fund. Its target for 2007 is $250,000, with a long term goal of $1 million. The Fund will be used to develop and deliver programs to prepare workers for the mineral industry in northern BC.

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