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Northwest Community College

May 22, 2012
Terrace, British Columbia

Notes for an address by

The Honourable Lynne Yelich
Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification

Funding Announcement

Corresponding Documents: News Release

Check Against Delivery

Thank you, Dave [O'Leary].

First, let me start by saying that it is a pleasure to be here today, on behalf of the Government of Canada

This is my first time visiting Terrace, and I have been struck by the kindness and hospitality which has greeted me. You truly have a great community here!

Before I get started here, I would like to acknowledge my other fellow speaker:

  • Dr Denise Henning, President & CEO, Northwest Community College

I am happy that we have the opportunity to come together to speak about this exciting project and its benefits.

The Northwest region is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing segments of the B.C. economy, thanks to an increasing number of mining, power, port and industrial development projects.

I doubt that it comes as much of a surprise to the guests here today that demand for workers in this region is expected to soon become third- highest in the province, particularly for trades jobs.

And while this is great news for the region, with growth often comes challenges, such as the shortage of skilled workers.

Our Government understands that it is critical to support opportunities that ensure the next generation is trained and ready to prosper from the jobs that the Northwest has to offer.

That’s why it gives me great pleasure to announce today, that our Government, through Western Economic Diversification Canada is investing $573,380 for Northwest Community College to expand its heavy equipment operator training program across this region.

Funding will help purchase ten new virtual training simulators – these simulators allow students to try out difficult maneuvers and dangerous operational situations in a low-risk environment.

Maybe I’ll try one out after the announcement. Some excavator skills may come in handy when I attempt to landscape my yard this summer!

The simulators will be installed inside a newly purchased 32 foot trailer and pulled by the heavy duty truck behind us today – also funded by WD.

It’s great to see that the vehicles and equipment are already being well utilized, as I hear they are heading to the Minerals North Conference in Burns Lake tomorrow.

Thanks to this new mobile facility, Northwest Community College will be able to visit rural communities and provide the same training received by students here in Terrace.

Today’s investment will truly ensure that companies have access to a local and highly-trained workforce.

And for our northern residents, it means you’ll be in the best position possible to capitalize on jobs and growth.

This project is just one example of how our Government will be delivering on its commitments to creating jobs and opportunities for Canadians.

Through our recently announced Economic Action Plan 2012: Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity, we emphasize that Canada’s well-trained and highly educated workers are one of our key advantages in competing and succeeding in the global economy.

We will continue to take action to address the needs and aspirations of every region of the country, particularly when it comes to the development of our natural resource industries.

We will also continue to invest in employment and skills training, through initiatives like the Youth Employment Strategy and Hiring Credit for Small Business, to better address our present challenges and build a better future.

Together, we are ensuring the West remains strong, because a stronger West means a stronger Canada!

Thank you and Merci!