Support programs for BC forestry workers now available
By Ellen Cools
The B.C. government has made the first round of support programs for Interior B.C. forestry workers available. The provincial government recently announced $69 million to fund these programs.
Impacted workers, contractors and communities can find information and application details for the retirement bridging program, the forest employment program, community support grants, and training opportunities and funding through a new web portal.
According to a government press release, applications are now being accepted for the retirement bridging program, whereby mill workers employed by an Interior B.C. forestry company could receive up to $75,000, depending on their individual employment history and situation, to help in their transition to retirement.
The forest employment program will allow affected contractors in the Interior to bid on short-term employment opportunity projects near communities directly impacted by a permanent or indefinite mill closure. Contracts will be administered through the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development’s regional offices. An initial list of projects can be found here.
The B.C. government plans to announce additional projects in the near future, as well as community-based job placement co-ordination offices in the following communities: Fort St. James, Fort St. John, Mackenzie, 100 Mile House and Clearwater. Frank Everitt and Terry Tate will co-ordinate the services of the job placement offices.