Mining Fundamentals program celebrates successful students
TUMBLER RIDGE – Friends and family were on hand to recognize the seventh intake of students to complete the Mining Fundamentals program, offered at the Tumbler Ridge Campus of Northern Lights College.
The ceremony was held on March 7 at the Tumbler Ridge Golf Club.
Donna Merry, NLC Campus Administrator for the Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd campuses, thanked all of the participants in the program, including the Elders, Chiefs and councilors at West Moberly and Saulteau First Nations; program partners; and the family members of the graduates, whose support was integral to the success of the students.
“This has been an amazing experience. There has been so much commitment, so much energy,” said Merry. “There has been such a huge change for everyone who has gone through the program. Not only did the students relocate to Tumbler Ridge to take the training, find new homes and build new friendships, they took advantage of a life-changing career opportunity.”
Merry added that the most rewarding part for staff at NLC has been building lasting relationships with the students.
The ceremony included the presentation of program completion certificates and gifts to the graduates. As well, several graduates from earlier intakes of the program – who are currently working at Peace River Coal – were in attendance.
The Mining Fundamentals program featured a unique partnership between West Moberly First Nation, Peace River Coal, Northeast Aboriginal Skills and Employment Program Society (NEASEP) and NLC.
The five graduating students made it a total of 35 graduates from the program, which has been offered in three-month intakes since July 2010. Overall completion rate for the program was 35 of 36 students (97 per cent), with 32 (91 per cent) entering jobs at Peace River Coal.
The 12-week program trained entry-level employees for jobs in the mining industry. Students were introduced to the mining sector and provided with training in safety and mine rescue, haul-truck theory, workplace communications, and employment skills. Students also completed 24 hours of simulator training, and more than 200 hours of on-site work experience, to prepare for haul-truck driving positions.
The program included regular Circle Meetings where students could express their concerns, share their experiences, and ask questions about the program in a comfortable, supportive environment. Elders and Band Council members also participated.
Over the next few months, NLC will have special offerings of Mining Fundamentals at the Chetwynd Campus and “Mothers to Miners” at the Tumbler Ridge Campus. “Mothers to Miners” will focus on training local women for entry-level mining positions. Both are funded through Employment Skills Access (ESA).
For more information on start dates and admission prerequisites for ESA programs, contact the Chetwynd Campus at 250-788-2248 or the Tumbler Ridge Campus at 250-242-5591, or check the NLC website at nlc.bc.ca.
The graduating class in the seventh intake of
Mining Fundamentals at NLC’s Tumbler Ridge