A new program at the Invermere Campus of the College of the Rockies is giving students a look at many different potential jobs under one course.
The Workforce Improvement Planning Program (WIPP) was created by College of the Rockies (COTR) (Invermere, Creston and Cranbrook campuses) in partnership with the Ktunaxa Nation and the Ktunaxa Kinbasket Aboriginal Training Council (KKATC). This course was offered to any First Nations person. The program started in November 2010 and will run through to the end of January 2011 and provides hands-on workplace training and skill development that includes: skill development in the areas of public speaking, stress management, life and work balance, portfolio development, leadership training, computer training.
The program also includes an introduction to the various trades such as carpentry, plumbing and electrical to mention a few.
The trades training includes a shed building project at the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce sponsored by Dave Ridge’s HOME Renovation Centre. The HOME Renovation Centre donated their labour costs back to the Invermere campus for a scholarship in one of the college’s programs.
One of the instructors who works for Ridge is Cory Stuart. Stuart felt the program gave students the chance to see the many steps involved with projects when they are done properly.
“The students get to see just what is involved with something as simple as building a shed,” Stuart said.
Stuart went on to explain that he has enjoyed working with the program, a feeling that was echoed by the students taking part.
Glynda Joseph said she enjoyed the computer side of the program but was happier to be outdoors working.
“I like the construction part. It has been very interesting learning about this for me,” she said.
Students in the WIPP program also receive the following certificates: First Aid, Traffic Control, Fire Arms Acquisition Certificates, Forklift, Transportation Endorsement, World Host, Food Safe, Transportation of Dangerous Goods and Chain saws.
In a statement from representatives from the COTR Invermere campus it was said “this program represents an amazing opportunity for First Nations people to have a serious look at many different opportunities for employment and the skills required. The response from the community has been very supportive and we are thrilled with the enthusiasm of the students. WIPP is truly a win win program that demonstrates, with measurable results, what can happen when organizations collaborate with a common purpose. Many thanks to KKATC for choosing College of the Rockies as their educational partner in this initiative.”