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TNDC Secures Substantial Funding from BC Government for Year 2 of The Pioneering HEO Program

TNDC Secures Substantial Funding from BC Government for Year 2 of The Pioneering HEO Program

Dease Lake, British Columbia, October 11, 2023: Tahltan Nation Development Corporation (TNDC) is excited to announce that it has received funding from the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills – Indigenous Skills Training and Education Program to support the second year of the groundbreaking Tahltan Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) program.

The Tahltan HEO Program is a multi-faceted program designed to build capacity in our Tahltan communities across several different areas: drivers’ licences and driving for employment; developing new heavy equipment operators; and continuing to grow current heavy equipment operators into mentors, trainers and instructors.

A key strategy to the success of the Tahltan HEO Program is supporting Tahltans in acquiring their Class 4, 5 and 7 drivers’ licences in Tahltan Territory. Acquiring a driver’s licence is a significant barrier to employment in remote communities and is required to operate equipment. Year two of the drivers’ program is expanding to cover commercial licenses up to class 1, which enables access to employment in critical industries in Northern B.C.

The HEO program has been developed in partnership with the Provincial Government, Iskut Band, Tahltan Band, Newcrest, CAT Finning, Procon Mining & Tunnelling, Arrow Transportation, Bandstra Transportation, Lakes District Maintenance, Mining Industry HR Council (MiHR), Centre for Training Excellence in Mining – BC (CTEM), Contact North BC (CNBC), Tahltan Central Government (TCG) and Thompson Rivers University (TRU) to address skill shortages within our region while also providing on-the-job practical work experience to set participants up for success. This remarkable financial commitment and support from our partners underscores the recognition of our program’s effectiveness and the collective determination to foster a brighter future for those living in our remote communities.

“The inaugural year of our HEO program – February to June 2023 – has already had a profound impact on the lives of several Tahltans. A total of 103 Tahltans completed training, including 70 drivers licence students, 29 mentors trained, and four Heavy Equipment Operators successfully completed their Mining Industry HR Council Common Competencies and Skilled Trades BC Roadbuilders certifications. These four individuals also passed their TNDC technical verification of competencies and found employment for the summer season. Building off the success of this inaugural year-one pilot, the HEO Program is moving forward with its expanded program framework to increase the impact in enhancing skills capacity of Tahltan individuals. With the newly acquired funding, we are poised to extend the reach of the HEO Program, with new programs and new partners, and magnify its profound and lasting impact. Inclusion of the Class 1 drivers licence shows our ongoing commitment to Tahltan members to enhance their skills and employability for future opportunities in the region and beyond.” Paul Gruner, CEO, TNDC.

ENDS

ABOUT TNDC

Tahltan Nation Development Corporation (TNDC) – the business arm of the Tahltan Nation – is owned by its shareholders – Iskut Band, Tahltan Band and Tahltan Central Government. TNDC was founded in 1985 by visionary, progressive Tahltan leaders who wanted to ensure the Tahltan Nation benefit from the economic activities and development occurring within Tahltan Territory and to provide employment, training, and contracting opportunities to Tahltan members. From its roots in residential construction, TNDC’s services have expanded to heavy construction, earthworks, camp services, air support, aviation, forestry, transportation, and fibre-optic communications services. To learn more, visit www.tndc.ca

ABOUT THE TAHLTAN HEO PROGRAM

The Tahltan HEO Program is a multi-faceted program designed to build capacity in our communities across a number of different areas: drivers’ licenses and driving for employment; developing new heavy equipment operators; and continuing to grow current heavy equipment operators into mentors, trainers and instructors. The program has been developed in partnership with industry, industry training authorities and funding partners, with the majority of training occurring in Tahltan Territory. It helps to address skill shortages within our region while also providing on-the-job practical work experience to set participants up for success. To learn more, visit www.tahltanheo.com

Contact:

Tahltan Nation Development Corporation
Deena Tokaryk, TNDC Communications Manager
Mobile 778 552 5082
communications@tndc.ca

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