Coast Mountain College (CMTN) is purchasing a second new mobile training unit to expand courses offered to students living in rural and remote areas of northwest B.C with the help of recent funding.
Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, announced $1.3 million for CMTN Sept. 3. This is on top of the more than $700,000 that the college and CMTN Foundation have invested on their own towards the mobile classroom.
The college’s existing unit can expand to 1,000 sq. ft. with the ability to travel to remote and rural communities, including the Nass Valley. The new one is meant to be more flexible, says Sarah Zimmerman, executive director of communications.
“It will be able to be converted to accommodate everything from a gas process operator program to professional cooking,” she says. “It packs up like a big truck and trailer, and then it’s got expandable parts so it becomes a more versatile space.”
Over the next three years, CMTN’s mobile trades training program is aiming to train more than 100 students.
“As many of Coast Mountain College’s students are women, youth, or Indigenous peoples, the mobile classroom lowers the barrier to receiving trades training and helps build a more inclusive workforce in sectors such as liquefied natural gas, mining, construction, and oil and gas,” reads the press release.
According to the 2017 BC Labour Market Outlook, there are 11,700 job openings anticipated over the next 10 years in trades-related occupations in the province.
The unit also allows Indigenous and other students in remote communities to access targeted training, such as the Gas Process Operator program run in partnership with Alta Gas in 2018. All 11 graduates of that program were offered full-time positions at Alta Gas’ Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal, the college says.
“This mobile training unit is critical to ensuring that education is accessible and reaches people where they live. This is vital to bringing innovative programming to remote and Indigenous communities,” says Ken Burt, CMTN CEO.
The new mobile unit will arrive in Terrace in the coming weeks, with the first program running out of Prince Rupert at the end of September.