Students in British Columbia’s Kootenay Region to Benefit from Harper Government’s Investment in Training Program

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Image of four men, including College President David Walls and Kootenay MP David Wilks
Pictured (l-r) Greg Ehman Division Manager with Emcon Services, College of the Rockies President and CEO David Walls, David Wilks, Member of Parliament for Kootenay—Columbia, and Rick Jensen, Vice-Chair, Columbia Basin Trust Board.

Today, at College of the Rockies, David Wilks, Member of Parliament for Kootenay—Columbia, on behalf of the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced a $350,000 investment to expand the school’s industrial training programs.

The funding, provided through the Western Diversification Program, will allow College of the Rockies to purchase software that converts their haul-truck simulators into heavy equipment operator simulators. This investment will be used to train students for a variety of jobs in the heavy construction industry, including bulldozer, grader, and excavator.

Through the use of a mobile training unit, students will be able to access training in a number of communities, providing them with the necessary skills to work on upcoming heavy construction projects in the Kootenay Region.

Quick Facts

  • In 2013, WD supported the purchase of five trades training simulators at College of the Rockies. Through today’s investment, these simulators will have expanded capabilities.
  • Between 2013 and 2020, there are an expected 22,800 job openings in B.C.’s Kootenay Region.
  • College of the Rockies trains students across B.C.’s Kootenay Region, with campuses in Cranbrook, Creston, Fernie, Golden, Invermere, and Kimberley.



“Our Government recognizes the importance of skills training and education in securing Canada’s continued economic success. This project allows the College of the Rockies to train skilled workers in a high demand sector in Western Canada so that we can continue to create jobs and economic growth.”
• David Wilks, Member of Parliament for Kootenay—Columbia

“We thank Minister Rempel and the Government of Canada for this significant support of simulator training at College of the Rockies. The new training software will allow us to build on our successful haul truck simulator training and to provide the same high level of instruction to help fill the need for heavy equipment operators in road building, forestry, mining and other heavy industry throughout the region and beyond.”
• David Walls, President, College of the Rockies

Additional Links
Harper Government Strengthens Training for Mining Sector in British Columbia: http://www.wd.gc.ca/eng/77_14474.asp

Harper Government Seeks to Increase Training Opportunities in Partnership with the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=929779

Service Canada – Apprenticeship Grants: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/goc/apprenticeship/index.shtml

College of the Rockies: http://www.cotr.bc.ca/



Janet Chen
Regional Communications Manager
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Vancouver, B.C.
Telephone: 604-314-9504
Email: janet.chen@wd-deo.gc.ca

WD Toll-Free Number: 1-888-338-WEST (9378)
Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-877-303-3388
Website: WD is online at www.wd-deo.gc.ca.