Steve Dowling is a strong believer in community involvement and interaction. That’s been a guiding principle for him throughout the 19 years that he has called Chetwynd home.
As Northern Lights College’s new campus administrator for Chetwynd and Tumbler Ridge, he is looking forward to building more connections in both communities.
“This is completely different from what I’ve done in my previous careers, and I think the newness of it keeps it interesting, keeps it exciting, and it could make a difference in the community,” he says.
Before joining NLC, Steve worked for the BC government for nearly 30 years. He started off as a conservation officer and spent 18 years in that role in both Mackenzie and Chetwynd before moving over to work for the Ministry of Transportation. The next 11 years were with that Ministry, culminating with a role for Steve as the operations manager for the South Peace.
He had been contemplating a career change when he saw the job posting at NLC, and he seized the opportunity the was presented. Although he is relatively new in the position, he’s already got a sense of what is possible by bringing NLC into more active involvement with the communities he serves.
“I’ve been talking with the staff here already, and with a few members of the community. I’ve heard that this place was busier 20 years ago than it is now,” he says. “I’m looking forward to figuring out why that is and how we can increase the College’s profile and expand the use of our facility.”
Both the Chetwynd and Tumbler Ridge campuses tend to be quieter than their counterparts in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, but Steve looks at that as a challenge. He is anxious to foster more activity by increasing student enrolment and by finding ways to engage others in the community.
“I want to increase the use of this beautiful facility we have here. A lot of people in the community don’t realize what we have here,” he says.