Prince Rupert Port Authority announced the latest beneficiary of its Community Investment Fund at the close of its Annual Public Meeting. The Port Authority presented a cheque for $100,000 to representatives spearheading Prince Rupert’s Trades Training Project, which will offer two new trades programs to students and residents of Prince Rupert and surrounding communities. The project was created through a partnership of Ridley Terminals Inc. (RTI), Northwest Community College (NWCC) and School District 52 (Prince Rupert). As a result, a Millwright Foundations Program will be offered at Charles Hays Secondary School starting in September 2013, and an Industrial Electrical Foundations Program will begin in February 2014.

"The Port Authority is excited to have three of our community partners collaborating on these much-needed educational opportunities," said Don Krusel, President and CEO of the Port Authority. "We are happy to make this contribution that will allow local people to pursue careers in their own communities, likely supporting the gateway industry the Port Authority and our partners are working hard to grow in a sustainable manner."

Through the formal partnership agreement, RTI is contributing $150,000 and will provide work experience opportunities to those enrolled in the new trades programs. NWCC will be providing industry-certified instructors, Industry Training Authority approved programs and administration. School District 52 will house the tools and equipment, as well as coordinate the recruitment of students and provide Accelerated Credit Enrollment in Industry Training (ACE-IT) coordination for the program at Charles Hays Secondary School. The Port Authority’s contribution will be used in combination with funds from RTI and other contributors to purchase the necessary equipment, which will become the property of School District 52.

"It’s our hope that the Foundations Programs will accelerate the career path of individuals seeking to enter the growing trades industry in our region and provide a lasting legacy of accessibility to training and employment," said Michelle Bryant, Corporate Affairs Manager of Ridley Terminals Inc. "This partnership between education and business is an important investment that will build local capacity to support the exciting opportunities happening in our communities."

The Trades Training Program is the first project to receive financial support through the 2013 allocation of Prince Rupert Port Authority’s Community Investment Fund. To date, the Port Authority has invested more than $1.2 million into 27 projects that have improved the quality of life in the Prince Rupert area.