Seabridge Gold Inc. has made its third consecutive $100,000 donation to Northwest Community College (NWCC) to support trades training in Northwestern British Columbia, the region where the planned KSM Project is located. The donation will continue funding NWCC’s Intro to Trades 10 program, which introduces five trades to grade 10 students. Seabridge presented the cheque to Northwest Community College at a reception on January 26 held during the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia’s Mineral Exploration Roundup Conference 2015 in Vancouver, B.C.
“The resource development industry is an important driver of B.C.’s economy and plays an equally important role in the lives of many British Columbians. The pending growth of the industry in the coming decades will require skilled tradespeople and we as a collective need to prepare today to be ready for tomorrow. This requires the commitment of government, industry, and education,” said Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines and Minister Responsible for Core Review. “Financial contributions such as the one Seabridge continues to make to NWCC’s trades program is an excellent example of how resource development companies can contribute to helping British Columbia meet future labour demands while providing youth with the exposure to trades to determine if it’s the right fit for a future career.”
“Our KSM Project will create 6,500 full time jobs, the majority trades, during its five-year construction and 52-year mine life. We are committed to filling as many of these jobs as possible with people from the local communities and realize we need to support efforts to develop the skilled workers we’ll need for that to happen. Seabridge believes resource companies have a responsibility to help build a skilled workforce and we have made a commitment to support education in the communities where we plan to operate through contributions to post-secondary institutions,” said Rudi Fronk, Seabridge’s Chairman and CEO.
Exposing high school students – young men and women – to the world of trades is an important step in building the skilled workforce the province will need as dozens of proposed natural resource projects such as KSM begin construction and transition into operation. NWCC’s Intro to Trades 10 program is offered in conjunction with the surrounding School Districts of Smithers, Terrace and Hazelton, and introduces students to trades with the intention of increasing the number of local young people who decide to pursue these opportunities.
This donation marks Seabridge Gold’s fourth consecutive $100,000 contribution to support trades education in British Columbia as it has advanced the KSM Project. In 2012, the funds went to the former British Columbia Aboriginal Mine Training Association. NWCC’s trades programs in cooperation with local school districts have been the recipient the past three years.
The KSM Project is located 65 km northwest of Stewart, B.C. The project was issued an Environmental Assessment Certificate by the Province of British Columbia in July 2014 and approved by the Canadian Minister of the Environment in December 2014. Seabridge has permits to begin early stage construction and is now focusing efforts on obtaining a joint venture partner and the remaining permits required to begin construction. KSM will make significant contributions to the B.C. economy over its mine life.
“There are many exciting, rewarding and financially profitable career options available in the skilled trades. At Northwest Community College we know the importance of helping youth learn about career choices early. Our Intro to Trades 10 program enables youth in our local communities the opportunity to learn about the most common trades in a compelling way and present the options available ,” said Brian Badge, Director of College Advancement for NWCC. “The continued financial support of Seabridge has a positive impact in our ability to advance trades training in Northwest B.C. and in the lives of the region’s youth who participate in the program.”
Northwest Community College (NWCC) is an accredited post-secondary institution offering comprehensive education and training to 34 urban, rural and remote communities in northwestern BC. Through an innovative distributed learning model that includes nine campuses and learning centres, from Houston in the East to Haida Gwaii in the west, current technology, mobile units, and successful partnerships, NWCC brings relevant education and training directly to where it is needed. NWCC’s School of Exploration and Mining in Smithers has been designated as a B.C. Centre of Training Excellence in Mining by the B.C. Government. To learn more, visit nwcc.bc.ca.