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Tahltan development, CAT dealer partner to launch training centre

TNDC and Finning Canada announce mobile heavy equipment facility
The Mobile Training Centre, launched at Red Chris Mine, will be able to relocate to other sites as needed. (Photo provided by Newcrest Mining)

A new heavy equipment training facility has opened in northwest B.C.

The Tahltan Nation Development Corporation (TNDC) and Finning Canada announced the launch of the TNDC Mobile Training Centre on Jan. 24. Finning is the world’s largest Caterpillar (CAT) dealer whose Canadian operations provide equipment, parts, services and performance solutions across B.C.

The new training facility is equipped with simulators designed to provide comprehensive heavy equipment training, and its primary objective is to support the Tahltan Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) program and the TNDC Employee HEO training program.

The training centre, based at the copper and gold Red Chris Mine, approximately 80 km south of Dease Lake, is a 44-foot custon-designed trailer that houses four simulators that offer learners a safe and virtual environment to develop their skills in one of four programs: articulated trucks, dozers and loaders, excavators and another program currently in development. The centre will also be able to relocate to other sites as needed.

Colleen Cashin, TNDC VP of people and corporate culture, says that the corporation is thrilled to unveil the centre and is looking forward to having innovative training for their employees.

“The vision for the TNDC Mobile Training Centre will be to build capacity for Tahltans, our employees and to improve career growth opportunities,” she said. “It is through partnerships with partners like Finning that we are able to facilitate growth of our people and ongoing growth of our development corporation.”

The centre will facilitate the training of 80 to 120 staff members each year, and will provide them with upskilling opportunities and training for new operators. It will also support onboarding of new employees with the aim of improving retention and productivity, while reducing recruitment and onboarding expenses, according to Finning Canada.

“When we had the chance to partner with our long-standing customer and provide the TNDC with a mobile training centre, we didn’t hesitate to say yes,” said Cheryl Gray, senior vice president of mining at Finning Canada. “Simulator training provides a safe, hands-on experience for learners using the same controls and machine applications found in real-world worksites.”