Minister of State for Rural Economic Development Donna Barnett announces funding for heavy equipment operation training in the Chilcotin and for West Kelowna.

Minister of State for Rural Economic Development Donna Barnett announces funding for heavy equipment operation training in the Chilcotin and for West Kelowna.

Barnett announces funding for heavy equipment operation training



B.C.'s Minister of State for Rural Economic Development MLA Donna Barnett announces funding for heavy equipment operation training.

B.C.’s Minister of State for Rural Economic Development MLA Donna Barnett was in Riske Creek Monday announcing funding for heavy equipment operation training.

“Today is an exciting day and one I believe will go a long way in helping people find a high paying job in the construction industry,” Barnett said during a gathering held at the Old School Training and Recreation Complex that was developed by Tl’esqox (Toosey) First Nation at the former Riske Creek School about 50 kilometers west of Williams Lake.

The more than $1 million provincial government contribution to the Southern Interior Construction Association (SICA) will be used to help train 36 people — some in the Cariboo-Chilcotin in a program that is already underway and in January for First Nations people in West Kelowna.

“The participants we have here today are just finishing up their classroom instruction portion of the program and will soon be gaining hands-on experience here with the Toosey Indian Band as they rebuild the main road through the reserve and work towards reclaiming the Farwell Canyon gravel pit for future development,” Barnett said. “Residents will benefit from the rebuild of the road by less wear and tear on their vehicles.”

Students in the program.

 

A shed the students have built that will be moved to become the staging point when work begins on the road and reclaiming the gravel pit.

Barnett told the training participants one of the graduates from a previous training program is earning $38 an hour.

“This proves that through the SICA and Velocity Training it is is a chance for people to find meaningful work,” she said.

SICA vice president of operations Clifford Kshyk said the students in the program received 170 hours of heavy machinery operating time which counts as work experience and makes them eligible for certification.

“These types of training opportunities that come right into our community or close by are very important for our community members,” said Tl’esqox Band councillor Gina Johnny. “The training is also for all neighbouring communities.”

Tl’esqox is one of the smallest of the six Tsilhqot’in Nations with 300 members, Gina said, noting half of them are living off-reserve.

“We have had different types of training here at the Old School and are thankful for the funding we receive,” Gina said as she thanked the band’s forestry and economic development manager Craig Kennedy for his efforts in pursuing funding.

Band councillor Violet Johnny said Velocity Training has given people the opportunity to receive  the training they need to become successful.

“Having this training will open doors for new careers,” Violet said.

Praising the students for their willingness to get ahead and improve their lives, band councillor David Stieman said they’ve made a choice that is good for their hearts, brains and bodies.

“It’s a big thing for a small community like ours,” Stieman said. “I have been a councillor off and on since 1996 and I am so proud of these people because in my younger days I did not have the chance to get training.”

It is crucial for band leaders to encourage people to take training, he added.

Program participants Gerald Koehler and Tyman Jobin thanked the instructors for the program.

“The training I am receiving will make me more employable,” Koehler said.

Jobin thanked Kennedy and everyone involved with making the program happen.

“To be taught how something works is amazing to me and I feel it’s very beneficial to us and our futures,” Jobin said. “I like they way they have brought our brothers and sisters from other nations together on our land to learn together. It’s very beneficial for everybody.”

The students are expected to graduate from the program on January 13, 2017.

Tl’esqox Band Councillor Gina Johnny, Patrick Lulua of Nemiah and Tl’esqox community member Gary Stieman close the ceremony with a drumming song.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chief Joe Alphonse
OP-ED: Williams Lake municipal, regional councils lack awareness on historical trauma

Systemic racism isn’t always obvious to those that are not experiencing it

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

The City of Williams Lake is asking for public feedback on whether it should explore the opportunity to host a Greater Metro Hockey League team in Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake GMHL expansion questions, concerns, to be discussed later this month

If approved, the team would begin play in the fall of 2021

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second death reported in Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

A total of seven cases have been identified at the hospital: six patients and one staff

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

(File photo)
Kamloops Mountie bitten while arresting woman

The assault on March 1 is the latest in a string of incidents that have left local officers injured

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read