Skeena NDP MLA Robin Austin

Skeena NDP MLA Robin Austin

Jobs support called the key to area’s future

The three-day Partnerships 2020 conference happened in Terrace last week

THE REGION needs to develop a trained and ready workforce if it wants to gain from an expected flood of industrial projects, says the organizer of a conference last week which brought together companies and training organizations of all kinds.

“There were some realities presented. If someone wants a crane operator, let’s say, all it takes is a phone call to someone in Newfoundland and that person’s here tomorrow,” said Don Ramsay of information presented at the three-day Partnerships 2020 conference which wrapped up March 8.

“All this is going to be happening with our without us. It’s kind of up to us,” he said.

And while companies may bring in outside workers equipped with specific skills, Ramsay said the common wisdom is that a locally-trained and prepared workforce is less expensive to recruit and retain than one that has to be brought into the area.

One of the key themes presented is that a person’s readiness for employment begins before they even start school, said Ramsay.

“What we heard here this week were people with common goals and common aspirations. There was really no dissension. People were here for the same reason.”

The next step is to take information from the conference and apply it to a pilot employment preparation program.

“It’ll be about essential skills to prepare a person to be trained for a job or to step into a job,”  said Ramsay.

Conference participant Irene Mills from Skidegate on Haida Gwaii said the more companies understand the area culture, particularly the aboriginal culture the better off they will be in hiring local workers.

“If you support us, you will be successful,” said Mills.

Sasa Loggin from Terrace, in speaking during the conference windup session, said part of the challenge on preparing people for employment is to insert hope into the community.

“People require encouragement to get an education,” added Loggin.

Providing encouragement takes in a long list that includes parents, schools and community groups, she said.

“There’s nothing like the peer pressure of being successful,” Loggin continued.

Conference delegates also heard that continued low scores from tests of Grade 7 students in math, English and science mean there isn’t a regional workforce ready for the kinds of jobs industrial projects will bring.

The conference fell under the umbrella of the Skeena Nass Centre for Innovation in Resource Economics which has received backing from governments to do the groundwork on developing a local workforce for  planned industrial projects.


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

Just Posted

This concept artwork from July 2020 shows the inland port planned for the former Skeena Cellulose mill site in Terrace. (Image courtesy Hatha Callis, Progressive Ventures Group)
Terrace city council approves inland port OCP amendments

Project still requires zoning bylaw, development permit to continue

This copper frog pendant was made by Jamika Aksidan, a young Nisga’a artist who was recently recognized with an award for her work. (Photo courtesy Nisga’a Museum)
Nisga’a youth artist wins award

Award includes $500, exhibition in Nisga’a Museum

A BC Hydro outage is affecting nearly 4000 customers in Kitimat. The cause of the outage is under investigation. (Screenshot/BC Hydro Outage Map)
Cable fault responsible for Kitimat power outage, BC Hydro says

At its peak, the BC Hydro power outage affected near 4,000 customers

Graph showing the 2020 passenger totals at the Northwest Regional Airport in Terrace. (Submitted/Northwest Regional Airport)
New year brings an end to a turbulent 2020 at Northwest Regional Airport

Passenger totals half of what they were in 2019

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Most Read