Workers in Ashcroft, Williams Lake, and Salmon Arm who were affected by mill curtailments will have the opportunity to gain skills and work in invasive species management and awareness.
The Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC) will receive more than $550,000 from the Province’s Community and Employer Partnerships program (CEP) to provide on-site work experience to at least nine people in Ashcroft, Williams Lake, and Salmon Arm. The ISCBC is a non-profit society that works to prevent the spread of invasive species
The project is designed to train participants in invasive species identification, management, and monitoring. It will also train for rehabilitation and site restoration, including reseeding and invasive plant management. The project runs from July 2020 to March 2021.
“Workers affected by mill curtailments have a lot of transferable skills and deserve the opportunity to put them to use,” says Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “This invasive species project is a great opportunity to provide important and meaningful work for people who need it, while reducing the spread and impact of invasive species in B.C.”
The participants will complete a minimum of 150 site visits combined in Ashcroft, Salmon Arm, and Williams Lake to increase protection of extensive agricultural and natural lands and aquatic systems from over 40 invasive species. Program participants will also be involved in presentations to increase awareness and education on invasive species in outreach events throughout the communities.
“The ISCBC works with many partners to reduce the impact of invasive species and increase awareness about healthy landscapes,” says Gail Wallin, executive director, ISCBC.
“Providing much-needed practical skills and experience for people who used to work in the forestry sector and in rural communities is a natural fit with what the ISCBC does and provides individuals with the chance to access key work opportunities.”