Mar 17, 2015


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Bow Valley College Co-Launches Aboriginal Construction Program

CALGARY - The Alberta government today announced the launch of the Alberta Aboriginal Construction Career Centres. The two-year pilot program, co-sponsored by Bow Valley College (BVC) and NorQuest College, will help more than 300 Aboriginal people to train for careers in the construction industry.

"This program is the result of our partners identifying and acting on an opportunity that will have an impact on generations to come. In an industry that is critical to the growth of our province, these career centres are opening doors of opportunity for Aboriginal people and answering the industry's need for skilled workers," said Premier Jim Prentice.

The career centres will complement existing programs that support Aboriginal training and employment in careers in the trades. BVC and NorQuest will each host a new Alberta Aboriginal Construction Career Centre program on their main campuses. The centres will deliver employment training, job coaching and counselling to more than 150 Aboriginal Albertans at each college, with a specific focus on the construction trades. Over the two-year duration, the program's goal is to provide construction-related job placements for the participants.

"The Alberta Aboriginal Construction Career Centre will fill a gap in connecting Aboriginal job seekers directly with the construction industry. Through fast, focused interventions, such as job preparation and skills training, these centres will play an important role in helping to address projected skilled labour shortages in the construction industry and connect Aboriginal peoples to well-paying jobs," noted Sharon Carry, President & CEO, Bow Valley College.

"Bow Valley and NorQuest Colleges are committed to a respectful and collaborative partnership with urban and rural Aboriginal communities. The purpose of the program is to contribute to existing community resources that are targeting successful employment outcomes in the construction industry," said Dr. Jodi L. Abbott, President & CEO of NorQuest College.

The Alberta government is contributing $1 million to the project, with an additional $525,000 from the two colleges and $750,000 from industry and Aboriginal stakeholders.

At BVC the Alberta Aboriginal Construction Career Centre will be located in the redeveloped West Campus building, which is set to open in Spring 2015.

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Bow Valley College - Calgary and region's only Comprehensive Community College - with more than 15,000 students, is a leader in business and health career training, adult upgrading, and English Language Learning. BVC's Test of Workplace Essential Skills (TOWES), workplace training for immigrant professionals, and employment services provide a wide range of services for businesses and professionals.

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