Danielle Gawa is a recent graduate of NWCC’s WEST program.

WEST sets students up for jobs

For Danielle Gawa of Smithers, the seven weeks away from home may have been difficult, but well worth the time and effort.

For Danielle Gawa of Smithers, the seven weeks away from home may have been difficult, but well worth the time and effort.

Gawa, 22, just completed the seven-week Workforce Exploration and Skills Training program at Ganokwa Camp,

The program, delivered by Northwest Community College, prepares students for various types of employment in the mining and exploration fields.

“It was a great experience,” Gawa said of the seven-week course.

Now armed with a fistful of certificates, Gawa is qualified to work in a variety of settings, but hopes to land employment as a mining exploration field assistant.

Working outdoors is something Gawa aspires to.

“I’ve always gone hunting and fishing with my grandpa Garry Marshall when I was younger,” Gawa said.

“I love the outdoors.”

For Denise Henning, NWCC president and CEO, the smiling faces at the graduation ceremony are a testament to NWCC’s mission.

“This is not only a celebration but a humbling experience to see the lives of students changed immediately.”

“It’s a humbling experience to hear their stories and to celebrate with their families.”

Henning also gave a nod to program sponsors, Smithers Exploration Group who recently extended their support of the School of Exploration and Mining.

“Our relationships with industry partners are vital,” Henning said.

“It’s the reason the SEM program exists.”

SEG president Rob Boyce said the graduates from SEM’s programs come with more than the practical skills his company is looking for.

“They come with the soft skills needed to work as part of a team in a remote setting,” Boyce said in a press release.


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