Kitimat college campus to see new life

New programs to begin at NWCC's Kitimat campus in February.

If John Ross has anything to say about it, Kitimat will be seeing a rejuvenated college campus soon.

Already he said new programs will be starting in February, a collaboration with the high school to bring an industrial millwright program.

From there he hopes to bring welding, and more.

John Ross is the community/industry/education liaison for Kitimat’s Northwest Community College Campus, and his job now is to essentially bring some former glory back to the small campus.

“We are starting to see programs come down here,” he said of the February trades programs.

He said that as interest for programs is brought to him he’ll get to work trying to bring them to reality.

It will take a collaborative effort and he said it’s not a competition between other organizations — namely the Kitimat Valley Institute — over who offers programs, but rather it’s about something being offered at all.

“It doesn’t really matter who delivers a program. What matters is that a program gets delivered,” he said.

Councillors were happy to hear positive news coming from the campus, and in replying to questions, Ross said that he actually hopes the campus proves too small for all the programs they might eventually offer.

“If I can show a need they will hire the instructors,” said Ross. “Our campus right now is not closed, it’s moth-balled, because it needed to be rebuilt. It needed to be reinvigorated. That’s what I’m trying to do down here. As I accomplish that, staff, faculty and students will be back in that college. We do not want to move the college out of Kitimat, we do not want to leave Kitimat.”

As programs get developed, he also said that the plan is to provide services so students will find work after graduation, rather than just forgetting about them after they’re through the system.