Four people in the Village of Slocan will get the work experience they need to contribute to British Columbia’s growing economy, while also participating in the beautification of their hometown.
Nestled at the southern tip of Valhalla Provincial Park along Highway 6, the Village of Slocan is a community in transition, ripe to become an eco-tourism hub for outdoor enthusiasts.
The Village of Slocan was long home to the Springer Creek Forest Products mill. But with its closure in 2011, the village has shifted its focus to eco-tourism. The project began May 30, 2016, with village staff working on their second B.C. government-funded Job Creation Partnership project that puts job-seekers to work in the construction industry as they gain valuable, hands-on work experience, while helping improve their community. This is the second phase of the village’s tourism enhancement project. The first phase saw the rehabilitation of the Endangered Screech Owl Habitat, interpretive walk and outdoor classroom in Slocan.
The 27-week project’s list of jobs is extensive, including the renovation of the village’s breakwater and on-ramp, including removal of exiting berm and installation of a 175-metre retaining wall and 40 metres of handrails at the waterfront. The participants will also build new campsites and provide water, power and sanitation upgrades to 20 campsites at Springer Creek RV Park and Campground, as well as pour 20 concrete pads for picnic tables and benches. The village plans to hold an open house event to showcase the participants’ work to the public.
When the work is complete, the participants will have gained experience in construction, carpentry, vegetation management planning, wildfire mitigation, utility upgrades and campground maintenance, while helping the Village of Slocan become a place tourists are sure to stay in and enjoy.
Government funding comes from the Job Creation Partnership stream of the Community and Employer Partnerships program. Job Creation Partnerships support funding to organizations and provide community benefit while creating jobs to assist unemployed EI-eligible clients with opportunities to gain meaningful work experience. Projects benefit the job seeker, community and the local economy.
The Community and Employer Partnerships program is featured in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and provides more support to people who are struggling to gain a foothold in the job market. It helps build stronger partnerships with 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 more than 200 projects have been funded throughout the province.
B.C. invests more than $7.5 billion in education and training each year, from early learning programs for the youngest British Columbians, all the way through to post-graduate education. Over the next 10 years, to better align annual investments to meet emerging labour market needs, the government will redirect $3 billion in training investments to focus on skills and programs for in-demand jobs.
Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation –
“This project is exactly what Community and Employer Partnerships funding is available for – enhancing communities while helping people find work. Job Creation Partnerships are amazing ways for job-seekers to gain valuable employment experience and I know that after this project is finished, they will have a greater chance of entering the workforce with their newfound skills.”
Jessica Lunn, mayor, Village of Slocan –
“Slocan is the ideal base camp for visitors looking to explore Valhalla Provincial Park, the majestical Slocan Lake and river, and the unique natural and archeological sites (ancient pit houses and pictographs) located within walking or paddling distance from the village. The project will enhance our campground infrastructure, ultimately increasing our capacity to accommodate visitors. We are thrilled to partner with the Province to move forward with this Job Creation Partnership project.”
Michelle Gordon, chief administrative officer, Village of Slocan –
“The Village of Slocan is grateful to be a candidate for the Job Creation Partnership. This project will support and enhance the town, while providing a unique opportunity to those in need of acquiring a broader skill-set.”
- The Village of Slocan has a population of 350 people and lies in the East Kootenay region of British Columbia.
- The local WorkBC Employment Services Centre plays a lead role in connecting eligible job seekers to Job Creation Partnership and Project-Based Labour Market Training opportunities in their community. Once the right match of client-to-project has been found, the effort of the WorkBC centre continues by providing financial supports and services to ensure success
- In 2016-17, the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation has committed to investing $331 million in employment and labour market programs under the Employment Program of BC.
- The Employment Program of BC is funded by the Province of British Columbia, as well as the Government of Canada, through the Labour Market Development Agreement.
- Funding supports 84 WorkBC Employment Services Centres throughout the province and the four components of the Community and Employer Partnerships fund:
- Job Creation Partnerships
- Labour Market Partnerships
- Project-Based Labour Market Training
- Research and Innovation
Who is eligible for Community and Employer Partnerships funding?
- Non-profit organizations
- Crown corporations
- Municipalities, agencies or territorial governments
- Bands/ tribal councils
- Public health and educational institutions
Find out more about the Village of Slocan: http://www.slocancity.com
For more information on Community and Employer Partnerships: www.workbc.ca/CEP
Find a local WorkBC Employment Services Centre: www.workbccentres.ca
Learn more about the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation: www.gov.bc.ca/sdsi
For more information on B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: www.workbc.ca/skills
To find out more about the BC Jobs Plan: www.engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/