17 graduates received heavy equipment training certification through Velocity Training.

Velocity Training graduates 17 participants from WFN

Participants received free instruction in heavy equipment operation over 12 weeks

17 residents of Westbank First Nation have new professional skills thanks to Velocity Training Canada.

Funded by the Ministry of Social Development, Velocity Training provides heavy equipment training to participants with links to Employment Insurance they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford.  Acquiring heavy equipment training provides the participants, referred to as a cohort, with a conduit that can take them from EI to having a valuable skill to seek employment with.

“When they graduate from our program they get 170 hours of seat time,” described Shad Mailer, project lead for Velocity.  “They learn foundations, which is everything to do with machines and maintenance and of course a great level of safety.  Then when they pass their foundations exam, they move into the heavy equipment portion, which is eight weeks of working on equipment.”

The training doesn’t just include how to operate heavy equipment professionally, but also includes employability training such as resume writing and mock interviews.  The employability training pays dividend for participants, as 40% of the 17 grads were already employed at the graduation ceremony on March 4th.

The training program, which lasted 12 weeks, took place in an empty lot behind the Home Depot in West Kelowna.  Through the work the participants did on the land, Mailer noted they estimate they increased the value of the land by $30,000.

“Normally we’ve been in gravel pits, where it can rain a lot and you don’t have to worry about anything,” he said.  “This cohort learned how to work in the mud.  The exposure to adverse conditions, the snow, rain and just the muck, but the job still had to get done.  It was uncomfortable, it was messy, it was frustrating, but the person that comes out t the end, when they go to their next job they’ll find it easy.”

This was the fourth time the province-wide program has come to the Okanagan, and Mailer said they are currently researching where they will go next.

 

Just Posted

The Paperboys visit Kelowna

Check out the Rotary Centre for the Arts Jan. 27

Let it snow in Kelowna

Snow is in the forecast for this week

Photos: Adventuring in Stuart Park

Have you seen Friday’s edition of the Capital News? Check out the photos featured

Rutland students help less fortunate

At Rutland Senior Secondary, students are helping the homeless this holiday season

Lake Country seniors receive Christmas surprise

Hampers will be given to 20 lucky seniors in need next week

What’s happening

Find out about the events happening in your community this weekend

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of sexual harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Lind nets three in Rockets win; Dube and Foote named to Canada’s roster

Kole Lind returns from national junior camp to lead Rockets to victory in P.A.

Interior Health holding immunization clinic in Vernon Saturday

IH issues list of Okanagan meningococcal immunization clinics

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Annual Christmas meal held as Kelowna Gospel Mission

The meal will be held tomorrow from 12 to 6 p.m.

Most Read