Heavy Equipment
Operator College

Winfield, BC   |   Innisfail, AB   |   Edmonton, AB

IHE Indigenous Partners Testimonials

In January, 2020, IHE Operator College’s remote mobile training division, delivered a custom heavy equipment training package to members of the Wesley, Bearspaw and Chiniki First Nations.

Since that time, several program graduates have successfully obtained employment.

With several industry projects developing nearby, Alden Twoyoungmen, Chiniki HRD Manager, saw an opportunity for employment of band members from all three nations. The goal was to partner with an industry recognized training program that could provide heavy equipment operator training, right in the community, convenient for band members seeking employment.

“We’ve had a lot of struggle unfortunately, in recent times, and people just feeling really lost or stuck. So many have been talking about wanting to run equipment, too, so this has been so good for everyone involved really. Seeing them commit and coming every day here to learn makes me smile,” said Twoyoungmen.

IHE remote training manager, Ron Cornforth, standing with Alden Twoyoungmen, Chiniki HRD Manager, and IHE Director of Operations, Christine Bay.
IHE Operator College brought a three-month heavy equipment training program to Chiniki Community College in January, 2020.

Starting mid-January, more than 20 students began first with theory training in, “The most beautiful classroom and view I’ve ever had the privilege to teach in,” (referring to the Chiniki Community College), said IHE Instructor, Ryan McDonald.

Next, participants moved out to the field and onto the machinery provided by IHE. In the field, each student learned practical, hands-on machine training with the Bulldozer, Loader, Rubbertire Backhoe and Excavator.

“Bringing the training to the community was the right call and perfect timing,” said IHE remote training manager, Ron Cornforth. “Learning a trade is stressful without adding additional anxiety of being away from home,” added IHE Director of Operations, Christine Bay. “We were pleased to be able to bring our experts to them. Their quality of learning, and being qualified to apply for the available positions in their own backyard in a timely manner, was key to the success of this program. We were able to finish at just the right time.”

“Bringing the training to the community was the right call and perfect timing.”
IHE Instructor, Ryan McDonald, teaching students at Chiniki Community College
Twoyoungmen, smiles reflecting on the high-value, quality service IHE delivered to the community, “Everyone was professional and reachable. The instructors took the time to interact with everyone, and they tracked attendance! I mean, if someone didn’t show up they would even go find them,” he laughs. “They really did such a good job. We have asked them back as we plan to open a gravel pit on our land this Fall. Hopefully IHE can help us train and staff that as well.”
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