A partnership between West Fraser Mills and the College of New Caledonia is targeting the skills shortage.
West Fraser Mills Ltd. signed an education partnership agreement with CNC Tuesday, which will lead to local training opportunities for West Fraser employees as well as increased access to programs for students in north-central B.C.
The agreement means CNC’s Quesnel campus will become the “College of Choice” for West Fraser Mills employees.
“When people grow up in a community and train in that community, they are more likely to stay in that community,” West Fraser vice-president of wood products, Ray Ferris said.
“We will collaborate with West Fraser Mills on designing and delivering programs to meet industry-related needs, such as millwrights,” CNC regional director, Doug Larsen added.
“We will also provide continuing education courses and credentials designed to accommodate industry needs and employee growth.”
The collaboration is looking at additional classes, including:
• Carpentry Foundation Level/ apprenticeship levels two – four;
• Electrical Foundation Level/ apprenticeship level two;
•Millwright Apprenticeship Levels one – four
(to be achieved by
• Pipe Trade Foundation Level;
• Plumbing Apprenticeship Levels two – four;
• Power Engineering Fourth Class;
• Welding Level C.
“This is a very significant moment,” CNC president John Bowman said.
“This ensures sustainability and certainty.”
West Fraser Mills will also “define opportunities for equipment/parts donations to the college to meet program needs and investigate opportunities to provide financial support to students in selected programs.”
Bowman credited Mary Glassford, former Cariboo Regional District director in the Quesnel region, for bringing both CNC Quesnel and West Fraser Mills Ltd. together in the first place.
“Certainly a partnership of this magnitude couldn’t have been accomplished without the help of Mary Glassford, whose diligent work and tireless contribution to the City of Quesnel and the surrounding region is second to none,”he said.
“I thank her for her dedication in championing this cause.”