“I’m happily employed,” says Winlaw resident and logging truck driver Alfred Moore. This is something he couldn’t say often back when he was working in the construction industry.
“I was getting lots of random layoffs at inopportune times,” he says, “so that industry was a little up and down. I was looking for something more steady.”
The stability came thanks to a Class 1 driver’s licence. Moore had wanted one before but obtaining the licence was fairly expensive. Then he got the help he needed through a bursary from the Trust.
Delivered by College of the Rockies, the Trust’s Training Fee Support program provides bursaries to help unemployed or underemployed people afford the training they need to secure immediate employment.
Usually, the amount is maxed at $800 per person. But Moore caught the program at just the right time—when it started offering even more funding, up to $7,500, for training leading to certain specialized, high-demand jobs. These include prep cooks, forestry workers, security guards and more—and Class 1 drivers.
The Trust recognizes that the need for higher-skilled labour in the region keeps increasing and that local employers are having a hard time attracting employees. Expanding this bursary program is part of its $20-million, three-year commitment to help create a diverse and resilient economy.
As for Moore’s new licence, he says, “It definitely helped me find work.”
He’s now employed with a logging company in Nakusp. “There’s lots of opportunities in driving available, but I’m pretty happy where I’m at right now.”