College celebrates mining program, strikes new one at PDAC – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – March 10, 2015)

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Thunder Bay’s Confederation College celebrated a successful mining industry training alliance at the recent Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention and confirmed a new one.

Its industry partner, Noront Resources, received the PDAC’s Environmental and Social Responsibility Award for its work with the Ring of Fire Aboriginal Training Alliance (RoFATA), along with other community initiatives with remote First Nation communities.

The award recognizes outstanding leadership in environmental protection and/or good community relations.

“We celebrate this incredible achievement of our community partner and are proud to have played a small part in their success,” said Confederation president Jim Madder in a March 9 news release. “Noront Resources has provided extensive support and leadership within the RoFATA program and has consistently demonstrated its commitment to education and providing pathways to employment in the mining industry.”

Launched in October 2013, RoFATA is training partnership between the college; Matawa First Nations and its training agreement holder, Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services; and Noront.

During the four-day convention, the college also confirmed a new alliance with the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja in Ecuador.

The college is working with Lundin Mining Corporation and the university located in the city of Loja on a plan on educational programming to develop a highly skilled workforce in the southern region of that country.

“What we’ve learned from the success of our RoFATA program will be carried over into this new alliance to ensure it is equally as successful,” said Madder.

“The proposed programs for delivery are in the areas of mining essentials, skilled trades, training, technology and business,” said Don Bernosky, the college’s vice-president of regional workforce development. “Programs will also teach principles of social innovation and community development to maximize the potential economic impact in the areas.”

The college said there are development plans for a South Mining Centre that will include the development and implementation of academic curricula relating to the operations side of large-scale mining.

Leonardo Benavides, mining centre director, said the college’s training expertise will “grow the expertise in the workplace and to expand the mining sector in our country.”

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