Thursday, July 31, 2014
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RoFATA Keeps the Learning Going for Matawa First Nations

by James Murray


Ring of Fire Aboriginal Training Alliance Starts Tier 2 & 3

THUNDER BAY, ON – Morris Wapoose, Program Manager, KKETS states “We are pleased with the outcomes and progress we are making in training our membership from the Matawa communities. The pre-trades programming will provide the necessary skills to enter an apprenticeship within the industry and be better prepared in entering the workforce.”

Today celebrated the start of Tiers 2 and 3 in the Ring of Fire Training Alliance (RoFATA) initiative. The students graduated on March 11th from the Mining Readiness Program, an eight week introduction.

Approximately 60 learners from nine Matawa First Nations communities gathered for the first day of the 12-week Tier 3 programming offered within five pre-trades programs, including:

· Pre-Trades Carpentry

· Pre-Trades Electrical

· Pre-Trades Plumber

· Pre-Trades Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic

· Pre-Trades Construction Craft Worker

Jim Madder, President, Confederation College commented, “Our future depends on our ability to ensure all learners have the opportunity to reach their full potential to contribute to their communities and the economy. The next two phases of training will establish the foundation for the development of a future workforce in the Ring of Fire or beyond. We recognize that partnerships are imperative to the success of this initiative. KKETS and Noront Resources have provided extensive support and leadership to reach a common goal in ensuring graduates are employment ready. “

Tier 2 programming will commence on May 28, starting with the Surface Diamond Driller Helper program at the Firesteel Camp in Ignace. 10 students are enrolled.

An environmental monitoring, and Pre-trades welding program are also being scheduled.

Launched in October of 2013, RoFATA represents a partnership between Matawa First Nations – Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services (KKETS), Noront Resources Ltd. and Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology. Its key objective is to provide training-to-employment opportunities to support the Matawa First Nations people. Funding for this initiative has been provided through the Skills and Partnership Fund from the Federal Government.

Tier 1 of the RoFATA initiative saw the successful delivery of Mining Essentials/Mining Readiness programs to approximately 160 students in the nine Matawa First Nations communities and locally in Thunder Bay.

Tier 2 and 3 programming will continue through the summer and fall of 2014.

Alan Coutts, CEO, Noront Resources Ltd. stated, “Noront is focused on developing a skilled local workforce to support our Eagle’s Nest mining project which we expect to be the first mine in the Ring of Fire. We are encouraged by the level of participation and look forward to hiring graduates from the program in the near future”

Students in the program have been working hard to gain the needed skills to get working in mining.

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