Students from Mount Elizabeth Middle and Secondary School along with representatives from Coast Mountain School District 82

LNG Canada investing in Northwest B.C students’ futures

A $100,000 investment from the joint-venture company provides a needed update to shop classes in the northwest

Northwest BC students interested in pursuing careers in the trades after graduation received an investment in their future on October 18, thanks to LNG Canada.

The Shell-backed joint venture project, which hopes to open an LNG (liquefied natural gas) export facility in Kitimat, donated $100,000 to three high schools in northern BC through the “Project Shop Class” initiative, which was started by the Construction Foundation of BC, under the British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA).

Those schools include Mount Elizabeth Middle School in Kitimat, Hazelton Secondary School in Hazelton, and Veritas School in Terrace. Mount Elizabeth Middle Secondary School was donated a new milling machine, which was on display at the announcement.

Representatives from Coast Mountain School District 82, LNG Canada, and BCCA were on hand at Mount Elizabeth for the announcement, along with shop and construction class students and a number of community members.

Manley McLachlan, president of the BCCA, spoke about the aging workforce in BC, and how getting younger people interested on the trades can help in the long term.

“Two out of every three workers in our industry here are over the age of 45, so we have an aging workforce, and we have a need to expand the number of participants, expand the opportunities for students to get into that workforce,” said McLachlan.

“All of that work starts here, right here in this kind of room,” he said.

McLachlan also talked about the types of equipment that are found in northern BC shop and construction classrooms, and how that equipment isn’t at the same level as what is being used in the industry today.

“I went and looked at the machine that this thing is replacing,” he said, gesturing at the new milling machine next to him. “I understand it was installed in this building when this building was built, in the late 50’s, early 60’s.”

“Now it’s an incredible testament to the quality of the machine that it still operates,” McLachlan said with a laugh. “The reality is, anybody who’s trained on that machine will very likely not run into that kind of machine when they get into (the workforce,)”

“Because of your donation of this milling machine, our students will continue to have the opportunity to engage in hands-on learning experiences, and develop new skills in their metalwork classes,” said Mount Elizabeth principal Geraldine Lawlor.

With the donation giving a much needed boost to encourage younger people into the trades workforce in the northwest, Kitimat Valley Institute (KVI) president Sherrie Little said she’s very excited about what it means for the industry, and possibly working with her institute and the school, in order to give students more skills.

KVI provides skilled training for individuals looking to gain work or certification in the trades.

“I think this is when we need to get the kids (interested,) in grades 7,8, and 9, it’s an amazing piece of equipment, I may have to say, ‘hey, can we borrow that?’” she joked.

“We’ve got some amazing expensive equipment over at KVI, is there a way to work with the two instructors and have some time set aside that (students) could come in (to KVI.)”

Little says she thinks that encouraging kids to pursue trades in Kitimat, without having to leave to get their certifications, could help grow more of a local workforce.

“We’re working on some other ways that we can keep the kids here, there’s some different things that we’re looking at, how can we offer more diverse offerings to people here,” she said.

 

Just Posted

Terrace RCMP arrest Kitimat man for drug trafficking

A police investigation has led to the arrest of a Kitimat man… Continue reading

Communities need to drive support for LNG

“If you want these projects to go ahead you have to support the people speaking out.”

Ladies rock the Valentines Bonspiel

The 1980’s themed event is geared at fun, and drew rinks from Terrace, Kitimat, and elsewhere

Natural gas pipeline repairs could cost consumers

Last fall’s heavy rains exposed sections of Pacific Northern Gas pipeline

DoK to spend $3.5 million on two projects

Nearly $2 million to be spent on erosion protection at Radley Park

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

B.C. files new legal action against TransMountain pipeline

Province tries to uphold City of Burnaby bylaws, provoking Alberta

BCHL Today: Powell River stuns Vernon and BCHL grads lead Team Canada

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Reports of money laundering in B.C. real estate ‘troubling’: attorney general

News report alleges people connected to fentanyl trade are using B.C. real estate to launder money

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Two more medals for Canada, and men’s hockey loss

Team Canada shines on the speed skating track, but fall short against the Czechs in hockey

RCMP member challenges court to prevent further disciplinary action

RCMP member launches appeal to avoid new hearing over alleged harassment

Port of Vancouver program examines impact of marine noise on local whales

Man-made noises can interfere with orcas’ ability to hunt and communicate with other pod members

Patrick Brown enters Ontario Tory leadership race

Despite sexual misconduct allegations Brown believes he is the right choice for the PC party

Most Read