Two local students get COFI’s Forestry Scholarships

Cam Nikkel and Ian Penninga are getting some help to pursue their careers in the forestry industry.

Cameron-Nikkel, of South Hazelton, recipient of a forestry scholarship is studying to become a heavy-duty mechanic at Thompson Rivers University. Submitted photo

Two students from the Bulkley Valley have been awarded scholarships from The BC Council of Forest Industries.

Cameron Nikkel from South Hazelton and Ian Penninga of Smithers have both been given $1,500 to help pursue their careers in the forestry industry.

Nikkel is studying to become a heavy-duty mechanic at Thompson Rivers University and Penninga is studying wood products processing at the University of British Columbia.

Penninga said the money will go toward his tuition and added the money is helpful because the cost of living in Vancouver is so high. Ideally, he wants to find a job in the Smithers area and move back when he is done school.

He said he isn’t too worried about the downturn in the forestry industry currently because his program is very diverse.

“A lot of this program is about how to improve forestry, so making things work smoother, more or less get more out of a log, using new technologies,” he said. “It isn’t based solely around the sawmill part, there is a lot of secondary wood products you can use like cabinet making and using engineered wood products.”

The BC Council of Forest Industries announced this year’s recipients of COFI’s Forestry Scholarships last week during the celebration of National Forest Week.

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Ian Penninga, of Smithers, recipient of a forestry scholarship, is studying wood products processing at the University of British Columbia.

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