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$1.4 million to train Okanagan Aboriginal workers for “in-demand” jobs

Pictured in this contributed photo, from left to right, Doug Webb of D Webb Contracting Ltd., Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo, Vernon-Monashee Eric Foster, Splatsin First Nation Chief Wayne Christian, heavy equipment trainee Theresa Lawrence and Southern Interior Construction Association CEO Bill Everitt.
Image Credit: Contributed
May 16, 2015 - 10:34 AM

VERNON – The province is spending nearly $1.4 million dollars to train 50 Aboriginal workers to be heavy equipment operators it says are in-demand.

The program will be run in partnership with the Southern Interior Construction Association with workers from the Splatsin First Nation, the Okanagan Indian Band and the Westbank First Nation will take part in the train sessions, according to a media release.

The trainees will get almost nine weeks of classroom instruction in road building and heavy construction and over four weeks of on-the-job training to operate bulldozers, excavators, front-end loaders and backhoes.

The program also includes eight weeks of follow up support to help the participants find jobs.

The one-year program will include three sessions of 18 people per session and is scheduled to wrap up in March 2016.

The first intake started earlier this month in Enderby. The next intake started in August in Vernon and the third in West Kelowna in November.

"One of the reasons I chose to do this course was to do a career change. I have always had an interest in heavy equipment and I am honoured and pleased to be part of something that is positive and exciting,” project trainee Patrick Thomas from the Neskonlith Indian Band says in the release. “The group of women and men that we have in this class is a great group to learn from and work with. I cannot wait to see all of us become operators."

To contact the reporter for this story, email Howard Alexander at halexander@infonews.ca or call 250-491-0331. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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