Partnership leads to job opportunities
Thirty students to receive work-site training

by Mark Sproxton
Northern News Services

NNSL (NOV 011/96) - The public and private sectors have taken one more step to link Northerners with job opportunities in mining.

The NWT Community Mobilization and Job Development Strategy

is behind a new program designed to see 30 NWT youth train for mine-related jobs.

The youth will go through a three-phase program including 13 weeks of classroom work where students can work at their own pace and according to their own interest.

The last part of the program will see the students partnered with someone in a real-life working situation for 18 weeks.

"Many people didn't understand the opportunities available in mining," Glenn Zelinski, co-chair of the group behind the program, said of the group's beginnings.

But once people who work in industries related to the mining sector explained the possibilities, "the most urgent needs identified were training and education," Zelinski said.

The program began in Hay River, Sept. 23 with 15 youth. It began in Kugluktuk (Coppermine) Sept. 30 with another 15 youth.

A similar program this summer saw a total of 22 students from Kugluktuk and Hay River complete a six-week job-shadow program at Northern mine sites.

Of those students, six now have jobs, while others are in other training programs or upgrading.

"The goals we're trying to achieve were preparing them to work and to help them find direction (toward) their next step," Zelinski said. "There's more than one goal to each program."

To date, private business has put up about $800,000 of in-kind services to the strategy.

The strategy group consists of more than 300 volunteer partners including businesses, community groups, social agencies and federal and territorial government departments in 11 communities.

The partnership has been active for about 18 months.

"Here we have partnerships that will put the North on the map," said Western Arctic MP Ethel Blondin-Andrew. "It is testimony to what we can do if we work co-operatively."

The job-shadow program will receive about $500,000 from the private sector, plus $150,000 from Human Resources Development Canada and $30,000 from the Kitikmeot Inuit Association through its Pathways Management Board.