In January, 2020, IHE Operator School’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 Operator School 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, Rubber tire 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 Hansen. “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.”