The Kootenay Region of British Columbia, including the West and East Kootenays, is diverse and large. In the East Kootenays, a boom has been underway in coal mining. In the West, an economic recovery is being fuelled by large hydro-electric construction and expansion projects. In addition, forestry and tourism are important and thriving industries throughout the region. This economic activity and other large projects in the proposal stages coupled with the projected retirement of many workers signal an ongoing need for skilled labour in the region.
The BC Jobs Plan has led to the creation of Regional Workforce Tables (RWT) to bring people together to discuss how to best align existing regional training to meet local employment opportunities, and to ensure British Columbians have access to training and job opportunities in their home communities. The Kootenay Regional Workforce Table (KRWT) is composed of 20 key leaders representing a range of communities and organizations in the region. They came together to produce this Regional Skills Training Plan. The KRWT based this Regional Skills Training Plan (the Plan) on secondary data available in the spring of 2013. The research also involved conducting focus groups and interviews with interested parties throughout the region to obtain their views on training gaps, issues and potential solutions. This Plan summarizes key findings emerging from the research and interviews; more extensive detail is available in background documents prepared for the KRWT. More