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

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van burst into flames just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Kids from a MOSS Sailing Camp sail just off Canal Waterfront Park in Alberni Inlet during a day camp in August 2014. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)
MOSS Sailing camps return to Alberni Valley

One-week camps designed for kids will take place at Sproat Lake

Robert Gunn of Alberni Climate Action loads garbage discovered in the Alberni Inlet around Cous Creek into his canoe during a recent ocean shoreline cleanup. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Alberni Climate Action group creates NIC scholarship

Students attending college full time may apply through NIC

Two ambulances and a medevac helicopter are on scene at Taylor River Flats rest area on Highway 4 due to a serious motor vehicle incident. (PHOTO COURTESY MAGGIE BROWN)
Highway 4 reopens after accident at Taylor River Flats

Multi-vehicle crash had closed highway to west coast

The Rollin Art Centre is holding children’s art camps this summer. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
ARTS AROUND: Celebrate art in the garden

Rollin Art Centre will host art event on Saturday, June 26

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read