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REPORTING · 29th September 2012
Walter McFarlane
The Kitimat Modernization Project’s Project Labour Agreement Unions put on a job fair at Riverlodge on Saturday, September 22nd. Tables were set up to give potential employers the opportunity to recruit local residents. In addition, Colleges and Unions were out to talk about what they have to offer.

“The purpose of the Job Fair was to introduce the Building Trades to the Local and Haisla community, provide information on employment requirements for entry into the BC Building Trade Unions, increase the local participation on the KMP Project and help identify gaps for future training,” said Colleen Nyce, Communication and External Relations Manager, of Rio Tinto Alcan.

Present were 11 BC Building Trades Unions, 9 Contractors and 6 training and funding agencies. Among those present were representatives of Northwest Community College who had brought along an ‘arcade’ of training programs for locals to try out.

“This is a joint project between industry training authority, Western diversification Canada nad Northwest Community College. It was a collaboration between all three to have this valuable training,” said Brian Badge.

They have about 12 machines which simulate 6 different machines. Each machine simulates the work which would be done on the job. It allows the training to take place in a safe environment with no fossil fuels being expended. They are also really popular at the college as students are using them both before and after class.

One of the other training facilities who were present was a satellite collage for the Piping Industry College of BC. This collage opened earlier this year across from Riverlodge.

“We’ve got our Kitimat campus up and going. We’re focusing on discovery trades,,” said Kevin Jeffries. “We’ve got a foundations course in first year Piping course going on right now. We’ve been doing some upgrading, some essential skills type stuff to room type stuff.”

The college is also associated with all of the 16 unions working at the Modernization. They are also the current Kitimat location for Saint John Ambulance.

Was it a success? One attendee told us it was a waste of time because he found he had to join a union prior to applying for work.

“Over 300 community members attended the job fair; several people were identified and are currently in the onboarding process,” said Nyce.