To date, nine Heavy Equipment Operator students have gained valuable hands-on experience and seat time toward their apprenticeship while conducting earthworks at the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine’s (RDKS) Forceman Ridge Waste Management Facility. Students were involved in the building of the sedimentation pond earthworks, the sand filter pad and the septage pad platform. They also worked on the building of a new bypass road and on the upgrading of existing roads into the site. This progressive approach to skills development allowed students to work with various kinds of equipment and apply their know-how on a real project as opposed to a simulation. With this experiential learning under their belts, two students were successful in securing work with Daudet Creek Contracting, the primary earthworks contractor for RDKS Forceman Ridge project.
RDKS intentionally set aside a portion the project work to support this training collaboration with NWCC. The results of this initiative benefit our students through real-world learning opportunities that lead to employment. Works and Services Manager, Roger Tooms says, “I always wanted the landfill to be more than just a landfill…over the years we have used NWCC students for various projects, such as soil sampling and assessing vegetation, so we knew there were opportunities to include students in this project.”
More collaborations like this are possible. Roger says “the Regional District will continue to look for opportunities for students to get involved in the building of these kinds of facilities.” NWCC is proud to have been involved in bring students this project-based learning opportunity and is looking forward to future opportunities to collaborate with community organizations.