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Funding supports training for workers in the Northwest.

May 24, 2016


HOUSTON, BC –Northwest Community College (NWCC) will receive $150,000 to support training for workers affected by the partial closure and decreased production at the Huckleberry Mine. The funding is also expected to provide additional training opportunities for students in other communities in the Northwest including workers affected by the closure of the Canfisco cannery.

“This funding will support workers who need to upgrade their skills so they are well-prepared for future job opportunities,”    said MLA for Nechako Lakes John Rustad on behalf of Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson. “Our government is ensuring workers receive quality training and have the education they need to continue working in their communities.

”NWCC will offer its Working in Natural Gas program in Houston for the former Huckleberry Mine workers and its Essential Office Skills and Intro to Trades programs in Prince Rupert for the former Canfisco workers. These programs have been designed in consultation with NWCC and a Community Adjustment Team, whose purpose is to co-ordinate and integrate local support services. While the team members vary depending on the situation of each community, they typically include local and provincial service providers and organizations with leadership from the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training.

The funding aligns with B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and supports communities in the region affected by the economic downturn, providing workers with the opportunity to retrain and upgrade their skills.

"We're glad that we can collaborate with the Ministry to support workers in the Northwest during a difficult time of transition,”    said Ken Burt, President and CEO of Northwest Community College. “The preparation for trades, for office skills, and for work in the natural gas sector should open up new opportunities in some high-demand fields for these workers.”

NWCC offers a variety of certificates, diplomas and associate degrees as well as trades foundation and apprenticeship programs.

B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint was launched two years ago to align funding and programs with in-demand occupations. B.C. expects almost one million job openings by 2024, and eight out of ten of these openings will require post-secondary education or training.


Media Contacts:

Trish Fougner

Communications Manager

Ministry of Advanced Education



Heather Bastin

Director of Communications & Public Relations

Northwest Community College



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