September 14, 2015 Re: AQUACULTURE DIPLOMA PROGRAM Weblink: http://www.excelcareercollege.com/aqua_1.html
The GNN Lands and Resources department has applied and received funding for an Aquaculture Diploma program to be delivered on-reserve by Excel Career College. This training provides the working knowledge and skill requirements for entry-level positions in the aquaculture industry. The program is 26 weeks long, but is largely self-directed. Students learn about aquaculture by working through learning modules in the classroom, which are supplemented with significant hands-on experience and field trips. Each student will complete the program with a two-week practicum – either on a salmon farm, shellfish farm, or hatchery. They also receive the marine certificates and courses for many marine-related jobs. We currently have space for 11 students in the program, but will not turn anyone away! Other notes:
Funding - We have applied and received the required funding to cover the tuition and course costs for 11 students. (From NVIATS and BC Job Grant program) KEDC has generously committed to covering miscellaneous expenses like field gear and field trips, as well as community luncheons. GNN’s Aquaculture – There are tentative plans for GNN to have its own shellfish aquaculture site growing scallops, oysters, and possibly cockles. If successful, the operation would need full-time skilled labour working at shellfish sites in the territory. Marine Harvest will also be able to employ graduates of this program. Program attendance – Despite people’s interest in the program, poor attendance could be attributed to various reasons: no childcare, family issues, and income opportunities, as well as others.
Program Coordinators: Ernie Henderson, Arlene Johnny, and Erin Latham are acting coordinators of the program. We’d like to have the opportunity to explain the program and to seek advice on how to maintain student’s commitment. Our Objective We are requesting the following from Chief & Council: 1. Help us to spread the word about the program and our upcoming open-house on Monday, September 21st. 2. Recognition of the students by the community and Chief & Council will be important to their motivation and commitment. a. First we invite all Chief & Council to attend our open-house luncheon at the Elder’s Hall next Monday, September 21st, to learn more about the program. b. We’d like to request one or two Chief and Council members to visit the classroom once every two weeks to check-in with the students and the program. We will be asking the Elders if they would be interested as well. c. A page in the newsletter every month to give updates on the program and the student’s progress. 3. Consideration for student financial support a. Childcare support through Health and Family Services b. As part of a living allowance or lost welfare/social assistance.