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Yunesit’in First Nation hosts career fair

Yunesit’in First Nation (Stone Indian Band) hosted a career fair at the longhouse in Williams Lake recently.
mly Yunesit'in Career Fair Five
Oliver Tritten (left) of OT Timber Frames Ltd. in 150 Mile House shares some of his designs with Royce Haines (right) during a career fair hosted by Yunesit’in First Nation at the longhouse in Williams Lake.

Yunesit’in First Nation (Stone Indian Band) hosted a career fair at the longhouse in Williams Lake recently, attracting a steady stream of interested people.

“We did this last year as well,” said Yunesit’in Chief Russell Ross in advance of the fair.

“It is meant to build partnerships locally and get our community informed about different possibilities around construction.”

One of the fair organizers, Gabe Pukacz, is a band councillor and manager of the First Nations  Construction Industry Education (FNCIE) program that is presently underway in the community.

“We had 15 partners participate in the fair and 150 people roll through between 1 and 4 p.m.,” Pukacz said after the fair.

FNCIE aims at training people in their communities to give them job skills.

“I’ve got five carpenter trainees right now — they started last fall — who are half way through the program,” said Pukacz, noting they are building a teacherage and a new home in the community.

The next project on the horizon will be a gym, with construction expected to begin in May.

Pukacz said he hopes to keep the five trainees who are currently in the program and bring in another four.

It is anticipated the gym will take 14 months to build, he added.

The FNCIE program is something the band has been working on for a long time.

“It took two and a half years of training before we hit the road,” Pukacz said.

During the fair Yvonne Funk, manager of SAGE trainers said her organization has been working with communities in the region for 20 years.

“We’ve worked in all the communities offering training in job readiness and life skills training.”

Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
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