The suspension of activities at Endako's molybdenum mine has caused a significant employment crunch in the nearby town of Fraser Lake.
To help affected miners and related professionals through this indefinite period, the B.C. government and College of New Caledonia announced Thursday that they are launching a dedicated training program.
"From the moment we heard that there was a pending mine suspension in Fraser Lake, we have had a support team on the ground working closely with the community," said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism, Skills Training and Labour.
"We have been impressed by the hard work and determination shown by the region and local MLA John Rustad, as together we are finding ways to mitigate the impacts on workers, their families, contractors and the community. Access to training programs, such as those offered through the College of New Caledonia, are an important part of assisting those affected to adapt to the changing landscape and develop new skills to succeed."
The new funding amounts to $150,000 and is in line with other programs provided to other communities that experience industry slowdowns requiring worker retraining.
CNC will provide the majority of this slate of training at the Fraser Lake Adult Learning Centre, with some courses provided in Burns Lake or Vanderhoof.
Bond said a community transition team is also working with CNC to help identify the types of training that will best support future job prospects for Fraser Lake workers.
Training will complement the skills and experience the workers already have, along with helping them develop new skills intended to transition them into available jobs without having to move to another community.
"CNC is pleased to receive government funding that will help us provide training so impacted workers in Fraser Lake can find new careers," said CNC president Henry Reiser.
"There is a growing demand for skilled workers, and CNC graduates develop the skills needed to support the province, their communities and their families."