NIC gets $200,000 to retrain Quinsam and Myra Falls workers

North Island College (NIC) will be offering free tuition for three of their locally-offered programs to those affected by the recent closure of Quinsam Mine and suspension of operations at Myra Falls.

The provincial government announced $200,000 in funding is being made available to NIC from the Ministry of Advanced Education after a Community Adjustment Team, in cooperation with NIC officials, determined what training would be most effective for workers affected by those particular new regional economic realities.

“NIC is proud to be able to support workers affected by Campbell River area mine closures with three different employment training options,” NIC president John Bowman said in the funding announcement. “Starting this fall and winter, displaced workers will be able to choose from a new ticket to trades for self-employment program, coastal log scaling certificate or an industry certification series at the Campbell River campus.”

NIC’s regional director of continuing education and training, Lynne MacFadgen, says the school is in a unique position to use this ministry funding to retrain skilled workers to keep them here – rather than being forced to look elsewhere for work in their field – and the program should be a great benefit to the region.

“Many qualified workers have spent their whole lives living and working in Campbell River,” MacFadgen says.

“We know from experience that these programs are life changing for workers who want to rebuild their skills and confidence levels. NIC is proud to help people stay in Campbell River, close to family and friends, and find career success in their own communities.”

This initiative is actually only one of a number of tuition-free programs coming to Campbell River this fall.

Another is the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (TIOW) program, which provides employment assistance services, such as resumé writing and counselling and improves participants’ employability through activities such as skills upgrading and work experience.

TIOW is currently running in Port Alice and the school says it is seeing “amazing success” with the program there.

Watch for information sessions coming this August or contact Wendy Samaroden at 250-923-9728 for more information on either of these programs.