May 25, 2009
ELSIPOGTOG (CNB) - The provincial government will invest more than $276,000 over two years for training and certification under the Work Ability program for the Elsipogtog First Nation. Premier Shawn Graham made the announcement today.
"This commitment is founded on our belief that good, solid jobs are vital to people's well-being and to our province's future," said Graham. "We recognize that steady employment is what gives all New Brunswickers the ability to invest in themselves and their communities, bringing us closer to self-sufficiency."
Under the Federal and Provincial Labour Market Agreement (LMA), the funds will help nine members of the First Nation complete an apprenticeship in carpentry and receive certification from the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour.
"Our government hopes that the extension of this program through the funding announced today will provide many more members of this community with similar opportunities to further their professional development," said Graham.
Elsipogtog has also contributed funding and is co-operating with the selection of candidates and the hiring of instructors.
"It is with a breath of fresh air that the premier is recognizing the potential workforce in First Nations communities," said Elsipogtog Chief Jesse Simon. "By promoting training for a productive workforce, the premier is ensuring that New Brunswick has a wealth of professional individuals ready to move the province toward self-sufficiency.
"He is tapping into an unlimited human resource that has been waiting in the wings for these opportunities, and it will payoff tenfold, not only for Elsipogtog and other First Nations communities, but for the entire province."
In 2003, the provincial government co-operated with the community as part of a four-year, provincewide Aboriginal employment strategy. This endeavour funded training for clients as they worked toward graduating with a skilled trade. The program's success led to additional funding under the LMA through Work Ability, a program run by the provincial government.
"This initiative is part of an on-going relationship we have had with the provincial government," said Lynn Francis, director of economic development and Aboriginal human resource development manager for employment and training at Elsipogtog. "We share a common goal: building a path toward self-sufficiency. We have a high volume of clients waiting to enhance their employment and training skills. Partnerships such as these that create much-needed successes."
More information about Work Ability and employment development may be found online.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Marie-Andrée Bolduc, Office of the Premier, 506-444-2286, Sheri Strickland, communications, Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, 506-453-8617.