New Mountain Hospitality program gets funding influx

A provincial-federal government funding partnership will see more funding flowing to train people in rural B.C. communities

A provincial-federal government funding partnership will see more funding flowing to projects and programs that train people in rural B.C. communities, and some of the money is earmarked for the Mountain Hospitality program run by the local College of the Rockies campus in Invermere.

The provincial Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour announced the Canada-B.C. JobFund Agreement in late December, which will see more than $2 million allocated to nine post-secondary institutes acrossthe province that offer skills training programs and are situated in remote communities with populations of 25,000 orfewer.

“I’m happy to be working with the government of British Columbia to achieve our common goal of helping workers in themiddle class, and those working hard to join it, access the training and supports they need to pursue opportunities for abetter future,” said federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour MaryAnn Mihychuk in a pressrelease announcing the new funding partnership.

“Skills training is one of the best investments our government can make to boost B.C. rural communities. I am delightedabout the Employer Sponsored Training projects supported by the provincial and federal governments for B.C. communities.These projects not only give local employers the skilled workforce they need for their businesses, but they also equip B.C.residents for jobs in their home towns,” added provincial Minister of State for Rural Economic Development Donna Barnettin the release.

The Echo attempted to find out precisely how much funding would come the local Invermere campus, but was unable toconfirm the amount prior to press deadline.

Some of the money will also go to programs similar in scope to the Mountain Hospitality program run by the College of theRockies at several of its other East Kootenay campuses, including Golden, Cranbrook and Creston. Other programs that willreceive funding in the Kootenay and Boundary regions include Selkirk College’s professional driver training Class Two/Theeprogram in Nakusp, Kaslo, Grand Forks and Slocan.

Programs in B.C.’s central Interior, in northern B.C., and in remote parts of Vancouver Island are also getting funded.

The ministry estimates that 299 people will benefit from the funding. Training dates for the programs vary, but allprograms will must be completed by June 2017 in order to qualify for the funding. In total, through the Canada Job Fund,the federal government spends $500 million a year to the provinces and territories for investments in skills training. Thefunding is dived on a per-capita basis and $65 million per year of it comes to B.C.

According to the ministry the funding, which is being delivered from the fund to the communites via the Employer-Sponsored Training stream, is meant to provide funding for project-based, time-limited, employer-driven training thatleads to a job at the end of training, with particular emphasis on programs delivered by Aboriginal service providers, post-secondary institutions, industry associations, community groups and private trainers that meet regional labour-marketneeds. In many cases, prospective employers provide either financial or in-kind contributions to support the training.