Aboriginal Construction Program Builds Opportunities

A two-year pilot program co-sponsored by the Alberta government, Bow Valley College, NorQuest College, industry and Aboriginal organizations will help more than 600 Aboriginal people train for careers in the construction industry.

The Alberta Aboriginal Construction Career Centres pilot will complement other existing programs that support Aboriginal training and employment in trades careers.

Bow Valley College in Calgary and NorQuest College in Edmonton will each host a new Alberta Aboriginal Construction Career Centre program on their main campuses. Under the program, the two centres will deliver employment training, job coaching and counselling to more than 300 Aboriginal Albertans at each institution, with a focus on construction trades. Over its two-year duration, the program aims to provide construction-related job placements for up to 300 registrants.

“This program is the result of our partners identifying and acting on an opportunity that will have an impact on generations to come. In an industry that is critical to the growth of our province, these career centres are opening doors of opportunity for Aboriginal people and answering the industry’s need for skilled workers.”

~ Jim Prentice, Premier

“The Alberta Aboriginal Construction Career Centre will fill a gap in connecting Aboriginal job seekers directly with the construction industry. Through fast, focused interventions, such as job preparation and skills training, these centres will play an important role in helping to address projected skilled labour shortages in the construction industry and connect Aboriginal peoples to well-paying jobs.”

~ Sharon Carry, President, Bow Valley College

“Bow Valley and NorQuest Colleges are committed to a respectful and collaborative partnership with urban and rural Aboriginal communities. The purpose of the program is to contribute to existing community resources that are targeting successful employment outcomes in the construction industry.”

~ Dr. Jodi L. Abbott, President & CEO of NorQuest College

The Alberta government is contributing $1 million to the project, with an additional $525,000 from the two colleges and $750,000 from industry and Aboriginal stakeholders.