Jeffrey is working on the Coastal GasLink project today after completing a six-day ‘training-to-employment’ program delivered by the project and one of its prime contractors.

Jeffrey is working on the Coastal GasLink project today after completing a six-day ‘training-to-employment’ program delivered by the project and one of its prime contractors.

Skills training program leads to exciting career start for northern workers

“I love the machines!” shared Jeffrey Thomas, a Pathways to Prosperity student at his graduation ceremony last year. The six-day ‘training-to-employment opportunity’ program, delivered by Coastal GasLink and SA Energy Group, provides local and Indigenous women and men with specialized training to kick-start a meaningful career in construction.

“The instructors tell me I’m a natural. I took that as a compliment, so I think I’m headed in the right direction,” he said.

That was a more than a year ago, and the encouragement from his instructors sparked Jeffrey’s dream to become an equipment operator. Today, he’s working on the Coastal GasLink project, helping to maintain the equipment he’s passionate about, and taking another step closer to his goal of operating them.

Coastal GasLink, together with their prime contractors, are committed to investing in career opportunities for Indigenous and local workers across the 670-kilometre natural gas pipeline project. Additional skills training and career-building programs are planned to provide local workers with valuable hands-on experience that will set them up for success.

“I worked in the wood industry for 22 years and I realized I needed a new chapter in my life, I wanted to try something different,” explained Jeffrey, “So here I am, and I love it here.”

Coastal GasLink’s COVID-19 Management Plan was approved by the Provincial Health Officer and Northern Health last month. The Plan includes health and safety measures such as asymptomatic pre-screening, mandatory mask use, and staying apart to help keep workers, their families and local communities safe, while allowing some people to return to work.

When asked about the extensive health and safety measures in place on the project, Jeffrey had this to share, “I love my job. They have everything in place to protect the workers on-site. It’s like everybody is a family here. That’s the way I look at it, and that’s the way it should be.”

Jeffrey, a member of the Nak’azdli Whut’en First Nation, is part of a limited, approved workforce focused on critical activities such as environmental and site monitoring, equipment maintenance, and site security in advance of spring thaw. Working closely with public health officials and local authorities, Coastal GasLink is preparing plans for the safe return of workers as part of its mainline construction program later this summer.

For Indigenous and local workers like Jeffrey, that means more opportunities for employment and skills development that can safely provide the experience needed to build a fulfilling career that lasts long after the project is complete.

“I’m going to give it 110 per cent and I’m just so happy to be here,” said Jeffrey.

Coastal GasLink’s March 2021 Construction Update is now available at CoastalGasLink.com.

To learn more about our COVID-19 Management Plan and how we’re helping workers return to work safely, visit CoastalGasLink.com/Safety.

energy sector

Just Posted

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

The Dease Lake Airport is receiving $11-million in upgrades funded by the province, Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine and mining companies. (British Columbia Aviation Council)
Major upgrades coming to Dease Lake Airport

Airport to receive $11-million from the province, regional district and mining companies

Dianna Plouffe, right, with Mayor Gladys Atrill in front of Town Hall following the announcement she will be the new CAO> (Facebook photo)
Director of corporate services named Smithers CAO

Dianna Plouffe replaces Alan Harris who is retiring at the end of April

Mabel Todd, 83, of the Nak’azdli First Nation, leads a group of family members and advocates of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls as they walk along the so-called Highway of Tears in Witset. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Province, feds fund full cell service along ‘Highway of Tears’ following years of advocacy

A ‘critical milestone in helping prevent future tragedies’ after at least 10 Indigenous women murdered, missing along the route

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

Paper Excellence took over Catalyst Paper operations in B.C. in 2018. (Paper Excellence photo)
The plane blasted through an airport fence and down a hill, before stopping before a cement barrier on Highway 5A, right in front of a school bus. Photo submitted.
Student pilot crashes plane onto Highway 5A almost hitting school bus

Aircraft hit pavement right in front of school bus

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Eight-year-old Piper and her family were raising money to help Guinevere, the bearded dragon, get a gynecological surgery. Sadly, the reptile didn’t survive the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Lizard fails to survive surgery, GoFundMe dollars help Langley family offset medical bills

Guinevere, a pet bearded dragon, underwent an ovariectomy on Tuesday

A driver stopped by Saanich police following a road rage incident on April 15 was found to be impaired, in violation of a license restriction and in a damaged vehicle. They received a 90-day driving prohibition and a 30-day vehicle impound. (Saanich Police Traffic Safety Unit/Twitter)
Road rager fails breathalyzer on busy B.C. highway in vehicle he shouldn’t be driving

Saanich police say man was operating vehicle without required ignition lock

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier John Horgan booked to get AstraZeneca shot Friday

‘Let’s show all British Columbians that the best vaccine is the one that’s available to you now,’ he said

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries in Canada as Moderna supply slashed

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks about the province’s COVID-19 vaccine plans during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
P.1 variant likely highest in B.C. due to more testing for it: Dr. Henry

Overall, just under 60% of new daily cases in the province involve variants

Most Read