The first graduates of the Indigenous Communities Public Works Technician Program, held on the Westbank First Nation. —Image: contributed

Historic grad ceremony for Westbank First Nation technicians

14 Indigenous workers become first public works technicians in B.C.

The Okanagan Training and Development Council says an innovative pilot project has just wrapped up on Westbank First Nation lands and now there are 14 certified technicians employed in public works as a result.

The council says Indigenous communities have taken a major step towards self-sufficiency after the first ever public works technicians celebrated their graduation last Friday.

The 14 trainees graduated from the Indigenous Communities Public Works Technician Program, held on WFN land. All 14 graduates have gained employment thanks to the council and its partners.

According to Indigenous Public Works coordinator Brenden Moore, the technicians can now work anywhere in B.C., with their certification from the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of B.C.

“These 14 public works technicians are the first in the country and they are Indigenous,” said Moore. “They now have a real career and job security.”

In July 2017, the unique program began in partnership with Service Canada, the WFN, the OTDC and ASTTBC, with the goal to provide formal training in the public works sector across B.C.

“This strategic partnership will provide post-secondary education training and certification in public works maintenance and operations,” said Joe Mocilac, director of development at the WFN.

“This program allows grads to embark on a career in a newly created industry recognized certification and allows greater work placement opportunities for Indigenous workers in the Okanagan.”

Due to the success of the program, it is being expanded to two other communities through ASTTBC, with the hopes to continue throughout BC.

Just Posted

Memorial plaques stolen from Kelowna cemetery

Four plaques were stolen from Lakeview Memorial Gardens earlier this week

Kelowna to host sustainable food industry summit

Kelowna will soon host a summit on how the food industry can reduce its climate impact

UBC Okanagan professor details local wildfire risks

Associate professor David Scott gives answers for the Okanagan’s wildfire season

Bike Skills Park in Kelowna is set to reopen

Cyclists can test the upgraded jumps on July 23

Kelowna Falcons swept in series finale

Kelowna battled back yet again but fall 11-8 to the Wenatchee AppleSox

Fashion Fridays: 5 casual summer dress styles

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Health: Living longer, a myth?

A new column to Black Press from CHIP HealthLine Solutions

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Monster truck action hits Okanagan

Penticton Speedway hosting two nights of racing and monster truck action

Okanagan man says stem cell therapy changed his life

Darryl Brewer says he went from being immobile with chronic pain to leading an active lifestyle

Clock’s ticking to share how you feel about Daylight Saving Time in B.C.

Provincial public survey ends at 4 p.m. on Friday

Most Read