High Velocity training centre continues to grow
Camrose's High Velocity Equipment Training has graduated another class of heavy equipment operators at the same time the training centre continues to expand.
High Velocity First Nations liaison Dion Arnouse said they have traditionally reached into First Nations communities like Hobbema but are now attracting aboriginal students from B.C.
"They have already done a lot of great work with the First Nations, Inuit and Cree in Canada, more so in Western Canada," he said.
"My job is to emphasis the B.C. front and we like what we see because there really is such an opportunity for the First Nations people because of the way the industry is right now, it has created a lot of job opportunities for heavy equipment operators in or near the First Nations communities."
Mayor Marshall Chalmers said High Velocity is a real success story in Camrose.
"This is a kind of gold nugget that we need to get out publicly into the community, if you think of the spin off. My perspective is that you can have an office anywhere, so this particular company could up and leave and get a chunk of land and train anywhere, so I am very committed to keeping this company here. What can we as a community do?" said Chalmers, who added an idea of searching for provincial or federal grants to purchase equipment for the students to train on, or a donation of used equipment to the program.
The training centre is a success for Camrose, but project coordinator Rick Enright said it is also a success for the communities the students come from. A lot of employment options are made available back in the students home region.
"They want their trained people to come back to be role models, to come back and talk to their friends and say, 'you guys got to try this, look what I'm doing,'" he said.
"The whole program the way it is set up caters to the First Nations and the plight and mind set. They don't want to leave the community . and this is a way out where they are working on their projects on their land working with industry."
Enright said they have examples of that success as close as the First Nations community in Hobbema.
"Everybody knows about Hobbema, no matter where you live, but they just called and want to send 12 more students through the program. They started by graduating four out of here.
"That is a way to change their community to get these people out of the gangs and say here's an easier way to make money."