The District of Vanderhoof acting on behalf of the Nechako Valley Post Secondary Working Group, has secured funds to develop a post secondary education plan that identifies the Nechako Valley as a priority for increased investment in post secondary education and infrastructure. The ad-hoc committee led by Gary Blattner, Alan Fitzpatrick and Lori Borth, and made up of several other representatives from community, industry, education and First Nations.
Early on in this process, we had commitments of $5,000 from the College of New Caledonia, $1,000 from L&M Lumber, $1,000 from Canfor, $1,000 from New Gold, $1,000 from the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako and another $1,000 anticipated from Thompson Creek Metals – Mt Milligan. The recent approval of up to $43,000 from the Omineca Beetle Action Coalition completes the funding necessary to get this project underway.
A Request for Proposals posted in BC Bid, closes on 17 February at 2 p.m. A committee has been struck to review the proposals with a goal to having a contract in place by March 1, 2012 and a completed plan by June 30, 2012.
The Plan will include engaging stakeholders, identifying innovative strategies to address chronic barriers to accessing and/or providing post secondary education needed by individuals and businesses in the Nechako Region. It will identify and incorporate innovative training delivery models, identify facility requirements and provide very preliminary budget projections. The end product will be a three year plan that shows a cost benefit analysis and includes a potential return on investment in the way of job creation, revenue generation and tax implications.
Art Kaehn, Executive Committee Member of the Omineca Beetle Action Coalition indicates that his organization supported this project because they believe that it will contribute to the development of regional capacity to train and retain the needed regional workforce a described in a number of their strategies.
Gary Blattner, Chair of the Working Group, thanks all the funders for their support on this exciting initiative. The expansion of post secondary education and training opportunities in the Nechako Valley will support trade and technical training, broaden links to advanced education programs and form ongoing student and stakeholder relations that will help to ensure an economically and socially viable future for our region.
We all believe that those that train in the North, stay in the North!
For more information contact, Kathie LaForge, Economic Development Officer for the District of Vanderhoof at 250-567-4711 or firstname.lastname@example.org