News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

May 18, 2018


THOMPSON—Northern Manitobans will benefit from a new workforce development centre that brings together industry and workers, Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart announced here today at University College of the North (UCN) Thompson Campus.  

“We are here to work with northern Manitoba to build a stronger economy and a brighter future,” said Wishart at the grand opening of the Northern Workforce Development Centre.  “This new centre will provide innovative training in one convenient place to prepare workers for in-demand jobs here in Thompson and the surrounding regions.  We want to create direct paths from training to employment.”

The new centre offers education and training in response to labour market changes in the region and provides participants with clear roadmaps on how to reach their employment goals.  As a result, employers will have access to qualified, skilled workers at all levels of experience.

“The Northern Workforce Development Centre is an important response to the developing economic situation in Thompson that brings together the strategic focus of Thompson 2020, the resources of the Manitoba government and the educational expertise of our institution,” said Doug Lauvstad, president and vice-chancellor, UCN.  “Together, we’re working to create an effective and co-ordinated path forward to help displaced employees retrain and find new work in the Thompson area.”

The province will provide more than $140,000 for the project over two years.  Total project investment includes contributions from UCN and local industry and surpasses $250,000.

“This announcement is the culmination of many years of work and support from multiple stakeholders, and the timing couldn’t be better,” said Tim Gibson of Thompson 2020, an initiative launched to assist workers affected by mining sector changes and help the community transition towards a more diverse, self-sustaining economy.  “More rapid planning and execution of training will translate directly into employment opportunities.”

The minister also commended UCN and Vale for finalizing a letter of intent to deliver initial training and re-certification training for up to 1,000 new and existing Vale employees through the centre.

“This letter of intent represents our commitment to growing our own in the region and to supporting workers affected by Vale’s ongoing workforce adjustment,” said Mark Scott, vice-president of Manitoba operations for Vale.  “We look forward to working with UCN to provide education and training that connects northern people with northern jobs.”

The minister noted the Northern Workforce Development Centre (NWDC) supports the priorities of the Look North Report and Action Plan for Manitoba’s Northern Economy, which calls for strategic alignment among partner organizations and new education and training opportunities based on industry partnerships and labour market needs.

The NWDC is located on the second floor of UCN’s Thompson Campus.

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