SIOUX LOOKOUT — Feb. 2, 2022: Sioux Lookout Mining Centre of Excellence Virtual Graduation ceremony took place on Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022.
This year’s cohort was comprised of 25 graduates who completed a Mining Essential program, AZ Professional Driver Program or Surface Diamond Driller Common Core Program.
Graduating students celebrated the completion of another important phase of their lives as they were virtually surrounded by their peers, industry representatives, community leaders, faculty, friends, and family.
These latest intakes of the programs were delivered in partnership with Sioux Lookout Friendship Accord Economic Development Corporation (SLFA-EDC), using funds provided by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, which supported the development of the Sioux Lookout Friendship Accord Mining Centre of Excellence in collaboration with Northern College’s Northern Training Division and the Haileybury School of Mines.
The partnership was developed to support the growing mining sector in Northwestern Ontario as part of a an economic recovery strategy mid pandemic, with a project encourages those impacted by the pandemic and First Nations people to participate in the growing mining workforce. The graduates of the programs are vital to the region’s livelihood and economic development of the area.
“These programs provide the necessary skills for graduates to successfully enter the mining sector workforce. Several graduates are already employed and well on their way to a long career,” said Jakob Dockstator, Executive Director of Sioux Lookout Friendship Accord Economic Development Corporation. “We wish every graduate the best as they enter this new chapter and we are proud that they are the first alumni of our Mining Centre of Excellence.”
Representatives from all the organizations of the partnership programs attended the ceremony, including Christine Heavens, Northern College’s Executive Director Community, Business Development and Employment Services, Executive Director of Sioux Lookout Friendship Accord Economic Development Corporation, Jacob Dockstator, and the President and CEO of Northern College, Dr. Audrey J. Penner.
“We couldn’t be prouder of our students as we watch them take their next steps towards their professional life,” commented Dr. Audrey J. Penner, Northern College President and CEO.
“These past years have been challenging. However, collaboration and partnership has allowed us to continue increasing First Nation participation, opportunities, and inclusiveness in regional area mining projects.”
The event featured speeches from Chief C. Bull, Mayor D. Lawrance, Northern College President and CEO, Dr. Audrey J.Penner, Director of SLFA-EDC, Jake Dockstator, and a prayer from Elder Hammond. Programs continue in the region with the next graduation slated for March 2022, hopefully in person.