By Rick Garrick
THUNDER BAY – Supercom Industries LP recently held a successful Community Information Session on training opportunities for the upcoming East-West Tie Transmission Project on Nov. 20-21 in Thunder Bay. Another Community Information Session is scheduled for Nov. 27-28 at the Delta Hotel Waterfront in Sault Ste. Marie.
“(It went) very well,” says Red Rock Indian Band Councillor Matthew Dupuis, a board member with Supercom, about the Thunder Bay session. “We had roughly between 80 to 90 people come through the doors. A lot just came to gather information. Some stayed for the formal presentation and quite a few stayed and did their initial intake so they can be part of the assessment for the employment and training.”
Dupuis says the Community Information Sessions are being held in the two urban centres because many community members from the six Northern Superior Region communities now live in the two cities.
“We know there is a large (First Nation) population in Thunder Bay, a large population in Sault Ste. Marie,” Dupuis says. “So it’s another opportunity to just reach out and engage.”
Dupuis says the Community Information Sessions are open to the general public.
“Anyone can come up and ask questions, whether it’s not even for yourself,” Dupuis says. “For people who missed the Thunder Bay session, follow (us) on our website, www.supercomindustries.com, or follow us on Facebook at Supercom Industries. We are always posting upcoming engagements.”
Dupuis adds that Supercom has training coordinators and advisors located throughout the region as well as at Anishinabek Employment and Training Services in Thunder Bay.
“We have a very large catchment area,” Dupuis says. “We include the whole region, so we’ve got First Nations to the east, to the west, to the north as well as the municipalities.”
Randal Courchene, a Supercom training advisor from Biigtigong Nishnaabeg, says there is a “very diversified” range of clients, from people with Grade 9 education levels to university students, who are applying for the training opportunities.
“The first thing we do is inform them what we can offer them and of course we encourage them,” Courchene says, adding that the participants will be provided with training allowances during the program. “It’s a great opportunity. We have a great program for people in their second career. Right now I’m getting a lot of people from my community, a lot of them are miners working in a gold mine, and they are seriously thinking of coming over to Supercom.”
Supercom plans to provide training opportunities for about 240 people in 2018. The first stage of the training program involves the preparation of the trainees so they have the essential skills, knowledge and work-readiness training needed to enter energy-related employment.
“After that they are going to have a choice of either going into a Tier 2 of a semi-skilled trade or a Tier 3 where they can get a ticketed trade, like a Red Seal,” Dupuis says. “The apprentices are going to be in carpentry, electrical, plumbing, cement finishing (or) power line technician.”
Details on Supercom’s training opportunities are posted online at: www.supercomindustries.com/training.
Supercom is a 100 per cent First Nation-owned business that was created by Fort William, Red Rock Indian Band, Pays Plat, Biigtigong Nishnaabeg, Pic Mobert, Michipicoten and Supercom Industries Ltd., a general partner corporation owned by the six communities, to maximize economic and employment opportunities from the East-West Tie Transmission Project.