Job seekers clearing trails and building a bright future in the area with LNTCFS

Up to eight job seekers in the Barriere and Clearwater area will gain trail clearing, milling and carpentry skills

  • Aug. 9, 2016 6:00 a.m.

North Thompson Star Journal

Up to eight job seekers in the Barriere and Clearwater area, including members of the Simpcw First Nation, will gain trail clearing, milling and carpentry skills, thanks to a new Job Creation Partnership project.

The Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society (LNTCFS) has been provided $243,590 in funding to support the project through the Community and Employer Partnerships program.

The North Thompson Valley, with its alpine forests, mountain landscapes and backcountry terrain, is an increasingly popular eco-tourism destination for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking.

This Jobs Creation Partnership project will expand recreation and tourism opportunities and stimulate economic growth in the region, in addition to providing valuable work experience for the participants.

Mike Francis, manager, Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society comments, “Shared objectives for local employment and skills development have made Job Creation Partnerships an excellent fit for our organization. This year’s project will benefit the communities of the Lower North Thompson through trail development, as well as new milling and carpentry phase of the project. We are fortunate to have highly skilled supervisors and excellent local candidates who are eager to learn and develop their skills.”

The project’s first intake of participants will complete trail clearing and restoration work this spring and summer in Little Fort, 31 kilometres north of Barriere.  Participants will help clear the 3 Mile Falls, 3 Mile Creek and Baldy Mountain Fire Lookout access trails.

The historic Hudson’s Bay Company Brigade Trail will also be expanded through this project when participants complete trail clearing and signage installation from Lynn Lake to Eakin Creek.

Starting in October 2016, a second intake of participants will gain skills and experience in milling and carpentry as they build picnic tables, benches and shelters for recreation sites in Barriere.

“There are so many benefits to this project, from gaining work experience that will help participants access future job opportunities, to stimulating economic growth and tourism opportunities in the region,” says Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation, “The community will also benefit from new recreation opportunities, thanks to the expansion of trails and new infrastructure.”

This is the Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society’s seventh Jobs Creation Partnership project. Participants from previous projects have developed and maintained a significant trail network, campsites, and a geocache program for the Lower North Thompson. They have also conducted silviculture work (tree planting and manual brushing), and range-management work, including invasive plant control and fence line repairs and maintenance.

Job Creation Partnerships are part of the Employment Program of BC’s Community and Employer Partnerships, which fund projects that increase employability and share labour market information.

Terry Lake, Minister of Health, and MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson, says, “The tourism potential for this area continues to grow as more and more people discover the North Thompson’s spectacular natural environment through its trails and recreation sites. This is a great opportunity for the region and for the Jobs Creation Partnerships participants. They’re helping to build a vital industry, while they gain the skills and experience needed to succeed in the job market.”

The Community and Employer Partnerships program is featured in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and provides the supports people need to gain a foothold in the job market. Projects build strong partnerships between industry and labour to connect British Columbians with classroom and on-the-job training, while making it easier for employers to hire the skilled workers they need – when and where they need them.

To date, more than 1,000 job seekers have benefited from work experience and 200 projects have been funded throughout the province