East Kootenay Forest Education Highlights
Norma Blissett (Forest Educator)
Inaugural Forest Industry Career Expo Held in Cranbrook, BC
The inaugural Forest Industry Career Expo brought careers in forestry into the Cranbrook community limelight on June 1st and 2nd.
For two days, the Cranbrook Recreation Complex housed representatives from forestry- related businesses, government agencies, educational institutions, and non-profit societies. There was a special focus on heavy equipment operations with many of the machines on site for viewing.
“We are pleased to showcase the job diversity in the field of forestry in our East Kootenay Region,” says Tembec’s General Manager, Kootenay Columbia Region, Lloyd Havens. “We want to emphasize that there is a great future in forestry and we want to generate interest in our youth to pursue a career in forestry or within the manufacturing side.”
COFI South's Forest Education booth at the Forestry Career Expo in Cranbrook.
On Friday, June 1, the Expo opened to a private tour for high schools, with students being bussed in from all over the East Kootenay. Exhibitors offered activities and games for the students. Training institutions had simulator equipment on hand for young people to try. Outdoor demonstrations included forest fire fighting, first aid activities, logger sports, and tree felling.
On Saturday, June 2, the Expo was open to the public, showcasing family entertainment for all ages, guest speakers, special demonstration events and door prizes.
The lack of skilled workers that East Kootenay businesses are experiencing has inspired a number of businesses to band together to create a “Worker Shortage Committee”. Tembec Enterprises has joined forces with the Ministry of Forests, Ktunaxa Nation and many forestry-related businesses to try to re-adjust the workforce balance.
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