If the construction of a new Mills Memorial Hospital, an estimated $360 million megaproject in its own right, offers an unprecedented opportunity for local employment and business opportunities, there’s also an ongoing benefit as to who will work in the new facility.
With an expansion planned to rate a new Mills as a high-level trauma centre, people will be required for the highly-skilled and high-paying jobs that will need to be filled.
And there’s no reason why a concerted effort on the part of local governments, in tandem with post secondary institutions such as the University of Northern B.C. and Northwest Community College, cannot take a lead role in starting local people down the path toward eventual employment.
To be sure the most highly-skilled medical professionals such as surgeons will have to come from elsewhere, but for every such person, a huge support network is needed.
Registered nurses in various categories, licensed practical nurses, imaging technicians, lab technicians, people charged with keeping medical records, computer technicians, maintenance people – it’s a long list.
Developing locals for these positions means growth and stability within the community. It means young people will be able to stay here and raise families.
The upside is enormous provided the task of setting all this in motion begins right away.