Woodtech courts NIC for ‘niche’ Alberni campus

Officials hope that a new protocol signed between Woodtech 21 and North Island College will attract new blood to Alberni's forest industry

Officials hope that a new protocol signed between Woodtech 21 and North Island College will breathe new life and attract new blood to the Valley’s forest industry.

Spokesperson Gillian Trumper announced Monday at the city council meeting that the protocol was actually signed in July.

The memorandum sets out how the two organizations will work together on common issues.

In particular, Trumper said she hopes they can work together to establish a series of programs dealing with forestry and wood. “This corresponds with a need for core programs in it,” she said. “It’s not just about cutting down trees and making two-by-fours. It’s about what you can extract.”

A niche campus isn’t unusual, she said. North Island College in Campbell River has aquaculture and mining studies. And the Courtenay campus has trades programs.

“This campus should be the centre of excellence with forestry for North Island College,” Trumper said.

Woodtech officials had an initial meeting with new NIC president John Bowman and have another scheduled in two weeks, she said. “He worked with colleges in the north that aren’t the centre of the main college like ours,” she said.

Trumper also wants to get college and forestry officials on the same page. The meetings would better enable the college to deliver specific training needs industry has, she said.

Woodtech has put up $5,000 to being establishing a forestry training initiative in the Valley, and hopes the college will match that, Trumper said.

The initiative would keep young people in the Valley earning good wages and put more kids in schools, she said.

Catalyst officials have even had cursory meetings with NIC about training initiatives, Trumper said.

New blood and not old bones are needed to fill positions that are set to open up in a revitalized forest industry, Coun. Jack McLeman said.

Young people aren’t entering the forest industry, and that’s causing serious problems, McLeman said. “People aren’t retiring. Or retired people are being called back to work,” he said. A lot of fatalities are occurring as a result, usually ones involving logging trucks, he added.

“The present forest industry as a place to work, we don’t need what we have right now,” McLeman said.

NIC officials are eager to discuss forestry initiatives in Port Alberni.

“The college is looking forward to working with Wood Tech 21 and others in the Alberni Valley to move forward on the development of a business plan in support of the Culture of Wood Institute,” the spokesperson said.

NIC officials have met with stakeholders and industry leaders about the need for forestry programming and pre-employment training at NIC Alberni over the past year.

NIC will participate in the development of the business plan for the Culture of Wood Institute, and will contribute to the initiative.

But until a training need or initiative is specifically identified, the college won’t match Woodtech’s $5,000 stake, the spokesperson said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

 

 

Just Posted

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Alberni wrestler heads to University of the Fraser Valley to compete

Ravi Manhas is one of 10 recruits signed to the Cascades for 2018-19

Taxing Vancouver Island

Big Read: find out which communities are paying the lowest and highest taxes on Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Construction on Hwy. 4 halted after tree crashes into traffic

Trees are being cleared along the highway between Port Alberni and the Tofino-Ucluelet junction.

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Serial killer Robert Pickton transferred to Quebec: victim’s family

Pickton was convicted in December 2007 of six counts of second degree murder

Man shot dead in Surrey ID’d as hockey coach and father of two

Paul Bennett was ‘a champion for the sport,’ team manager says

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

Amalgamation fails in North Cowichan and Duncan

North Cowichan says yes, but Duncan says no

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Most Read