Anishinabek Employment and Training Services Partners Up for Opportunities

“ONWA’s vision is to be a unified voice for equity, equality and justice for Aboriginal women. On a daily basis, ONWA advocates on behalf of Aboriginal women and their families for safer communities, improved and increased access to social services, increased affordable housing, improved and self-governed education, and for the elimination of violence,” says Betty Kennedy, ONWA Executive Director.

Thunder Bay Ring of Fire Aboriginal Training Alliance Graduation Class
Thunder Bay Ring of Fire Aboriginal Training Alliance Graduation Class – Education Opportunities are expanding for First Nations students

THUNDER BAY – Anishinabek Employment and Training Services (AETS), in partnership with Northstar Training Centre, Superior Strategies, the Margaret Anderson Foundation, Pic River Private High School, the Aboriginal Apprenticeship Board of Ontario and a variety of Employer Work Experience Hosts (i.e.:  TBT Engineering, Resolute Forest Products, Thunder Bay Hydraulics, etc…), are proud to announce the “Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program (PATP) – Construction Craft Worker” initiative, which is focused on increasing participant exposure to the trades and securing apprenticeship work experiences or employment within the trade.

The program, which started early in March 2015, includes continuous learning towards an Ontario Secondary School Diploma and access to a laptop as well as Trade Readiness and Job Readiness Training.  The level one Construction Craft Worker (450A) training component started in April, followed by welding training exposure.

The next phase will include an eight week work experience with industry in and around the region.  The culturally aware and responsive program has involved Elders, Mentors, Facilitators, Instructors as well as regular classroom activities and monitors.

“This initiative will provide First Nation Citizens with the stepping stones required to build skills and gain the knowledge needed to realize their career goals in the trades. It’s important that we continue to be the leader in the development of training programs that meet the needs of the First Nation communities,” said John DeGiacomo, Executive Director of the AETS.

“It was once said that “No Man is an Island” in today’s political climate that statement rings true for First Nations Communities in Northwestern Ontario. The road to true self-reliance begins with creating strong, strategic partnerships with external stakeholders. When numerous First Nations communities unite with funding agents like Ontario’s Aboriginal Economic Development Fund, program services can reach beyond the urban setting and provide essential job skills to Anishinabek people living in remote regions. These types of partnerships between the government and First Nations Communities are giving Aboriginal citizens the tools and life skills to succeed outside their home reserves,” said Mandy Price, Proposal & Partnership Development Officer of the AETS.

“Mutually beneficial partnerships like this one will increase First Nation self-reliance and contribute to ongoing improvements to the overall well-being of First Nation individuals, families and communities in Northwestern Ontario,” said Lynn Lavigne, President of the AETS.

AETS successfully secured funding for the development of this program through the Government of Ontario (MAA – Aboriginal Economic Development Fund (AEDF) and MTCU – Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program) and the Margaret Anderson Foundation.

“The AEDF is helping Aboriginal businesses, communities and organizations create, diversify and collaborate. We’re excited to announce support to more projects, as an investment in the economy is an investment in a stronger Ontario,” said David Zimmer, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.

“Congratulations to AETS on the great work they are doing to build the skills and talents of so many northern Aboriginal people.  Our government is proud that AETS is creating innovative solutions to help break down barriers to skills training and employment and their AEDF grant will help us close the attainment gap and ensure that all Aboriginal learners have the skills training and education they need to participate, and succeed, in today’s economy,” said Reza Moridi, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.

Participants who successfully complete the program requirements will receive Certificates such as Propane in Construction, Propane for Propane Powered Equipment, Hoisting and Rigging, Traffic Control Persons, Working at Heights, HILTI Powder, Actuated Tools (DX460), Forklift Operations, Elevated Work Platforms, Chainsaw Operations and Maintenance and Level One Construction Craft Worker (450A).

Culturally-appropriate academic and workplace supports are provided to participants through mentorship, guidance and additional supports as required.