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COFI North Forest Education

Chris Lear- Forest Education Manager

Student Interest in Forestry Careers Remains High

Students from throughout School District 60 (Peace River North) participating in harvesting equipment operator’s careers program.
Students and teachers from Quesnel, Vanderhoof and Prince George join delegates at the ABCFP’s ExpoFor AGM as part of program looking at post secondary resource management programs at CNC and UNBC.

If the number of students participating in recently held forestry career awareness programs hosted by COFI northern operations forest education program is any indication of the interest in forestry careers, then attracting the next generation of workers to the forest sector when it recovers from the current economic downturn should not be a problem.

Whether we are talking about careers in the trades and technologies, as harvesting equipment operators or as professional foresters, forest technologists or other resource management professionals, high school students are very interested in learning about today’s and future career opportunities.

Three recently held career awareness programs, two in Fort St John looking at trades and technologies in Canfor’s sawmill and harvesting equipment operators at a logging site, and one program in Prince George highlighting post-secondary resource management programs at the College of New Caledonia and UNBC were not only completely filled with students, but students had to be turned away for a lack of program space. 

“Students are fully aware of the difficulties facing BC’s forest industry, but they are looking past the current situation to where they see the industry rebounding and see themselves as journeymen millwrights, feller-buncher operators or professional foresters.  You might call this youthful enthusiasm, but I call this youthful optimism," notes Chris Lear, Manager Forest Education, COFI Northern Operations.  "These are the next generation of workers ready to train for tomorrow’s careers."

For more information on these and other forest education programs, please contact: 
Chris Lear, Manager Forest Education, COFI Northern Operations
(250) 614-4351 / e-mail [email protected]  or go to www.forest-education.info


Students Tour Dream Home Canada
Dan Broderick, Career Programs, SD 28

From March 11 to March 24, students and teachers from The Quesnel School District travelled to Shanghai as part of a two-week long cultural exchange. One of the highlights of their visit was the opportunity to visit the Council of Forest Industries (COFI) Dream Home Canada project.

Dream House Canada is a show home and display centre designed to highlight the properties and beauty of building with wood. It is one of the strategies to promote the use of B.C. wood products in new markets. The students were really impressed by the structure itself and the hospitality they received during their visit.

They left the site with a feeling of pride in the scope of Canadian technology and the versatility of B.C. forest products. Many thanks go to Chris Lear (Prince George) and the rest of the COFI staff at home and abroad for facilitating the visit.

Dan Broderick
Career Programs, Quesnel Secondary School
School District No 28 (Quesnel)


CNC's New Natural Resources & Environmental Technology Program

learn forestry students
Student applications for the College of New Caledonia’s Natural Resources and Environmental Technology Diploma in Prince George are way up over previous years, according to the latest report from the Registrar.  There are already 25 applicants for the 22 spots in the College of New Caledonia's new program, which will give students career opportunities in forestry, mining, oil and gas and other outdoor professions. 

"We are very pleased to see so many applicants for this exciting program," said CNC instructor Ed Morrice. "It's only March and we already have great interest in the program, which begins in September."  Morrice said there is still room for qualified applicants, who should register as soon as possible at www.cnc.bc.ca/CNC_Programs/NRETech.htm

Morrice added the interest is fired by the program changes at CNC as well as by the traction that COFI’s Northern Operations Forest Education Program is getting with high school students and others. "The program has been well received by industry and prospective students", Morrice said.

CNC repurposed its traditional forestry program by moving the focus from forestry to the broader spectrum of natural resources. Graduates will still be fully functional forest technologists having learned about operations, silviculture, forest protection and measurements. But they will acquire a much broader suite of skills and knowledge applicable to the range of natural resource sectors operating in northern BC.

"If you know someone who would suit this program because they like the outdoors and want a meaningful career involved in responsible management of the environment, then encourage them to apply and register now," Morrice said. "Almost all graduates of the Forest Resource Technology program are employed now and job postings are still going up."

For more information on this program, please contact:
Ed Morrice, R.P.F.- Natural Resources & Environmental Technology,
College of New Caledonia, Prince George, BC
Phone: (250) 562-2131 local 5215
Fax: (250) 561-5816


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