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Funding to train construction workers in the north

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By Richard Coffin:

The province is putting over a million dollars into free construction training for 645 people in northern Ontario.

People from remote First Nations and Indigenous communities will be prioritized.

One project involves 20 trainees through NorCat’s training centre in Thunder Bay, with free lodging and transportation.

They will learn to operate machinery to build roads, move minerals and harvest forests.

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The other project will see the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers develop a virtual training centre to teach 625 electrical workers across remote Northern and First Nations communities.

Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, says these projects will prepare people for in-demand jobs in the construction sector.

“It really is mission-critical as we fill the skills gap that we’re ensuring that everyone can participate in the opportunities that are out there.  I have a real focus on Indigenous peoples, women and people from at-risk communities,” he says.

McNaughton says the jobs include heavy equipment operator and electrical trades.

“These are the careers that are going to be life-changing for families across northern Ontario and for the Indigenous peoples that are going to participate, these are 645 opportunities to get a pension, to get benefits, to provide for your families,” he says. NORCAT’s training program will be offered from September 13 to December 3, 2021. To apply, contact NORCAT’s Thunder Bay office at 855-966-7228, ext. 324.

IBEW 1687 will offer training beginning on November 1, 2021. To apply, contact Chase Beaudoin, Market Development Manager at 249-878-0227 or

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