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Campus Life  

Gillett to lead School of Business at Okanagan College

Okanagan College Media Release

Bill Gillett June 2017Okanagan College will welcome a new Dean of Business this summer with the arrival of William Gillett, an esteemed post-secondary administrator who brings an impressive record of public and private sector experience.

Gillett comes to Okanagan College from New Hampshire, where he has held the Christos and Mary Papoutsy Distinguished Chair in Ethics and Social Responsibility at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). Previously he was the Dean of Business for SNHU where he lead 58 full-time faculty, 125 adjunct faculty and supported more than 1,600 students in undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“I’ve been extremely impressed by the Okanagan School of Business,” says Gillett. “The reputation of Okanagan College is what attracted me to the institution and every interaction I’ve had with the College and students has only reinforced that for me. There is a clear focus within the institution to provide an education that prepares students for a globalized economy and I’m looking forward to building on that focus.”

Prior to working in post-secondary education, Gillett worked as an attorney in commercial practice for firms in New York and Detroit, specializing in insurance regulation and mergers and acquisitions. He then worked in the insurance industry for a number of years in Seattle, Manchester, New Hampshire and London where he was involved in major reorganization projects of European and US operations. He oversaw European operations as Managing Director for RiverStone Holdings in London, UK and was promoted to President of RiverStone in Manchester, New Hampshire.

“We’ve found a superb Dean for the School of Business in Bill Gillett,” says Dr. Andrew Hay, Vice President Education at Okanagan College. “His international experience in both the private sector and post-secondary education very much aligns with the values of our college and the goals of our business school. He will be well positioned to build on the great work of Dr. Heather Banham and everyone within the School.”

Gillett’s board member roles include the International Institute of New England, NH High Tech Council, NH Business Committee for the Arts, Mount Saint Mary Academy, New Hampshire Public Radio and New Hampshire Writer’s Project.

Gillett will replace Dr. Heather Banham, who will retire from her role as Dean of the Okanagan School of Business this summer, after a 24-year career with Okanagan College. 

 



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UBC prof suggests species at risk in Canada are not fully protected

Strategies to protect critical habitat not always followed

A new study from UBC’s Okanagan campus has found that in many cases, Canada isn’t following federal legislation requiring the protection of threatened or endangered species and could be placing them further at risk of extinction.

Canadian endangered species legislation requires developing a Recovery Strategy for every species listed as threatened or endangered to help their recovery and protect them from harmful human activities. These strategies are supposed to identify habitats critical to the species’ survival.

“The legislation is crystal clear,” says the study’s co-author Karen Hodges, associate professor of biology at UBC Okanagan. “Once a species is listed as endangered or threatened, we have specific timelines to develop a Recovery Strategy that identifies the critical habitat for that species.”

But Hodges says that habitat protection work just isn’t happening, or it happens years later than the required timelines. Hodges and her co-author Sarah Bird, who undertook this research while an undergraduate student in the UBC Okanagan biology program, found that of the 391 species under the protection of the Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA), only 11.8 per cent had critical habitats fully identified, while more than 60 per cent had no critical habitat designation at all.

Hodges and Bird arrived at their conclusion after analyzing all SARA-listed species and their recovery strategies dating up to August 2015. They also studied lawsuits involving the Species at Risk Act since its adoption in 2002, several of which challenge these failures to designate critical habitat.

“Habitat loss is a primary cause of species loss,” adds Hodges. “Current implementation of SARA is sorely lagging and simply isn’t providing the majority of species the protection the law requires. Without using these legal tools to the fullest extent possible, we run the very real risk of losing some of these species forever.”

The study was published in Environmental Science & Policy with funding support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.

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Shuswap Launch-a-Preneur named one of BC’s best community projects

Okanagan College Media Release

A collaborative program that helps Shuswap entrepreneurs launch their bright ideas received a boost of its own this month when it was named one of the top community projects in the province.

Launch-A-Preneur 2017 Fitt and MarshallThe Shuswap Launch-a-Preneur program received the Community Project Award at the 2017 BC Economic Development Awards in Victoria last Tuesday, June 13. The prestigious awards honour organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities.

Launch-a-Preneur is a joint project hosted by Okanagan College, the College’s Enactus team, Community Futures Shuswap and the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society. The popular program provides support, resources and mentorship to assist individuals with a business idea to successfully launch in the Shuswap. 

“The most powerful part of this program is how it brings the community together to support and encourage local entrepreneurs,” says Andrew Klingel, a professor with the College’s School of Business who also serves as a faculty advisor to Enactus OC. “It’s exciting to see all the new business ideas and watch how the community rallies around them.”

May marked the fourth season for Launch-a-Preneur, which runs every other year. It includes both a workshop series and a final event night, which gives teams the chance to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges.

This year 10 teams competed in front of a sold out crowd of 285 people at the Salmar Classic Theatre. Six teams took home more than $36,000 worth of prize packages designed to help them launch or grow their businesses. First place went to the team from WineBox Sweets Co., who also garnered People’s Choice.

Over the past four years, nearly $100,000 in prizes have been donated by local sponsors. That investment has allowed the project to continue to grow and support more entrepreneurs each year.

“Community support for the program has been overwhelming from day one,” explains Lana Fitt, Economic Development Manager for the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society and one of the event’s organizers. “And the ripple effect of that support has been deeply felt by the many entrepreneurs who have participated over the years. We are very proud to receive this award. It’s an honour to be recognized among some of B.C.’s best economic development efforts.”Launch-A-Preneur 2017

This year marks the 27th year that the BC Economic Development Association (BCEDA) has presented these awards. There are two categories, Community Project Award and Marketing Innovation Award, with two awards bestowed in each category – one award for a project serving a population less than 20,000 and one for a population more than 20,000. Shuswap Launch-a-Preneur took home the award for population under 20,000, while the City of Prince George’s Economic Development department took home the hardware for population more than 20,000.

Buoyed by the award and another round of positive feedback following Launch-a-Preneur’s fourth season, organizers expect the event to continue – and that the ripple number of businesses launched will likewise continue to expand.

“The value of the Launch-a-Preneur program can clearly be defined by the number of participants who have successfully launched their businesses in the Shuswap,” says Rob Marshall, Executive Director for Community Futures Shuswap. “Community Futures is pleased to be part of a program that engages community members on so many levels and we proudly stand with our partners in accepting the Community Project Award.”

More information about Launch-a-Preneur is available at launch-a-preneur.ca/

 



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Sculptures enhance permanent legacy of former UBC student

Louise Sidley, left, and David Sidley speak to family and friends gathered after the sculpture “Two Deer” was officially unveiled at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Louise Sidley, left, and David Sidley speak to family and friends gathered after the sculpture “Pair of Deer” was officially unveiled at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Student’s father creates bronze deer in memory of his son

Two bronze deer now grace the grounds of UBC’s Okanagan campus, a gift that will forever stand as a legacy to former undergraduate student River Sidley.

River died suddenly in 2014 and received a posthumous Bachelor of Science degree in June 2015.

The artwork, “Pair of Deer” was created by River’s father David, a sculptor from Rossland, BC. The family, grateful for the experience their son had at the university, donated the bronze sculptures as a way of commemorating River’s memory.

“In appreciation of UBC Okanagan, and in honour of River, I decided to install these sculptures on the campus,” says David Sidley. “Hopefully, they will be enjoyed for years to come and remind people of my son who probably would have made a name for himself here as well.”

The bronzes, which were conceived in Rossland at the artist’s studio and then cast in Kelowna, were installed in the campus courtyard in time for June’s convocation celebrations.

“UBC Okanagan gratefully welcomes David Sidley’s beautiful artwork to the campus,” says UBC Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal Deborah Buszard. “The sculpture is a moving tribute from a parent to his departed son. River felt at home on this campus and we were honoured to choose a prominent location for the work as a reflection of the Sidley family’s embrace of our learning community.”

“His important work adds breadth to our collection and resonates well with existing outdoor artworks on campus,” says Susan Belton, curator of UBC Okanagan’s Public Art Collection.

River was studying at the Bamfield Marine Science Centre at the time of his passing, leading the Sidley family to endow the River Timothy Sidley Memorial Award in 2015. The award supports a UBC Okanagan student who shares River’s love for marine biology and who is pursuing additional studies at the Bamfield Marine Science Centre.

River’s mother Louise, who received her Masters of Fine Arts from UBC in 2010, says her son had found his life passion at Bamfield and through the award in River’s name the family wishes to honour his life.

“We wanted to carry on River’s potential, and it’s been really meaningful for us because we’ve been able to see the recipients, and we have formed relationships with new students. That’s been very energizing for us,” says Louise. “UBC has been incredibly supportive of us as a family trying to grow and to learn, and it’s nice to keep our connection to the campus with this scholarship and the deer.”

The family ties with UBC are deep and the Sidleys were filled with pride when River’s sister Sage graduated from UBC Okanagan campus in 2016 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. The family is now in the process of establishing a second award at UBC Vancouver to further honour their son’s memory and support even more UBC students.

“I think our relationship with UBC has helped our whole family deal with our loss because of the legacy we’re able to leave behind,” Louise adds.

The deer were installed into the university’s courtyard, a spot where students and faculty gather for occasions throughout the year. The artwork was officially unveiled on June 16.

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Young chefs on the road to Riccione

Okanagan College Media Release

 

Okanagan College’s Culinary Arts program hosted its annual Road to Riccione Cook Off this week with a coveted prize on the menu for two winners: a trip to Italy and the culinary adventure of a lifetime.

The event kicked off Tuesday morning with Okanagan Chefs Association (OCA) Junior members serving up dishes with equal parts creativity and skill, while the afternoon portion of the competition saw OC Culinary Arts students vying for the title of Student-of-the-Year in a Top Chef-style culinary faceoff. Competitors in each round were presented with a tantalizing array of ingredients with which to prepare an Italian-inspired meal, including dessert, for a panel of judges that included OC Culinary Arts instructors and other esteemed chefs from around the Okanagan.

After a fast-paced morning of competition, Riley Eberts of Waterfront Wines was named winner of the OCA round, delivering the judges a decadent pan-seared duck and quail egg main, followed by a lemon olive oil chiffon cake for dessert.

Daniel Cardoso June 2017In the afternoon round, Daniel Cardoso rose to the top with a masterfully plated Arctic char main dish, accompanied by a classic panna cotta to finish. The competition among Okanagan College’s Culinary Arts group was incredibly close. When all the judges’ marks were tallied, only .25 of a point separated Cardoso from his classmate and second-place finisher Annie Low.

“I really wasn’t expecting this, but it feels incredible – especially given how well everyone cooked today,” says Cardoso, who graduated from the Culinary Arts program in February and returned to the College for the competition.

Born in Castlegar and a Kelowna resident for more than a decade, Cardoso cites culinary classes in middle school as one of his earliest inspirations for chasing the dream of becoming a chef. He now works in the kitchen at Summerhill Pyramid Winery.

“I want to keep learning and travelling to build my skills, so this trip to Italy will definitely help me do that,” adds Cardoso. “I’m incredibly excited for it. It hasn’t really sunk in yet.”

Morning judges for the cook off included Tina Tang, Pastry Chef at Predator Ridge Resort, along with OC Culinary Arts instructors Chef Jim Armstrong, Chef Mike Barillaro and Chef Roger Planiden. In the afternoon, OC students competed under the watchful eye of Chef Melissa Masters, Junior Director for the OCA, joined by OCA member Chef Willi Franz and OC’s Chef Jim Armstrong and Chef Reinhard Foerderer. OC Culinary Manager Chef Bernard Casavant served as the chef organizer.Daniel Cardoso and judges June 2017

In order to qualify for the Road to Riccione Cook Off and the chance to be named Student-of-the-Year, Cardoso and five other classmates had to first pick up another honour – the Culinary Arts program’s AMA student of the month award.

“AMA stands for attendance, marks and attitude,” explains Casavant. “You can measure the first two, but attitude is that intangible quality that sets everyone – students and professionals – apart in this industry. We’re extremely proud of Daniel and all the students for the way they have progressed in their skills and how they performed this week.”

In October, both Cardoso and Eberts will accompany Casavant and Barillaro to Riccione, Italy where they will tour cooking schools and the region. They will also get to host a traditional Canadian Thanksgiving Dinner for Canadian guests at the Hotel Belvedere. 

 



Opera Under the Stars back at UBC Okanagan

Hundreds of opera lovers enjoy an open-air concert by Opera Kelowna at last summer’s Opera Under the Stars in the central courtyard at UBC Okanagan. This year, Opera Under the Stars takes place Aug. 2, starting at 8:30 p.m.

Hundreds of opera lovers enjoy an open-air concert by Opera Kelowna at last summer’s Opera Under the Stars in the central courtyard at UBC Okanagan. This year, Opera Under the Stars takes place Aug. 2, starting at 8:30 p.m.

A mid-summer evening of music promises to captivate concert-goers as the third-annual Opera Under the Stars returns to UBC Okanagan this August.

Set in UBC Okanagan's central courtyard, the free open-air public concert by Opera Kelowna presents world-class voices—those of the professional cast of their August 2017 production of Puccini’s La bohème—in an informal and picturesque setting.

The public is invited to bring picnic blankets or chairs and find their favourite spots around the courtyard. Parking for the evening is complimentary.

Opera Under the Stars is free to attend, but online pre-registration is required. Refreshments will be available for purchase, including a selection of wines from Quails’ Gate Winery, beer, and soft drinks, and gourmet food options. All ages are welcome and encouraged to mingle, move about and even dance to familiar operatic favourites.

Opera Under the Stars takes place at UBC’s Okanagan campus, Wednesday, August 2, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. The event opens Opera Kelowna’s 2017 Summer Concert Series, which continues with three additional Opera in the Park concerts:

  • Aug. 3 at Kelowna’s Guisachan Park
  • Aug. 4 at West Kelowna’s Memorial Park Amphitheatre
  • Aug. 6 at Peachland’s Heritage Park

These concerts give audiences a taste of Opera Kelowna’s mainstage performance of La bohème at the Kelowna Community Theatre on Aug. 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m.

To pre-register and learn more about Opera Kelowna’s free Summer Concert Series and to get ticket information for the Aug. 18 and 19 mainstage performance, visit operakelowna.com

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Community health-based volunteer program spreads across Canada

UBC Assoc. Prof Barb Pesut is a Canada Research Chair in Health, Ethics and Diversity.

UBC Assoc. Prof Barb Pesut is a Canada Research Chair in Health, Ethics and Diversity.

Volunteers can help improve quality of life for seriously ill adults

A UBC Okanagan professor’s idea to improve quality of life for seriously ill adults is spreading across the country.

N-CARE—navigating, connecting, accessing, resourcing and engaging for adults with serious illness—was introduced by Assoc. Prof. of Nursing Barbara Pesut in cooperation with her colleague Dr. Wendy Duggleby from the University of Alberta. The program is designed to help people with serious chronic illnesses navigate community services and resources with trained volunteers.

Pesut—who is a Canada Research Chair in Health, Ethics and Diversity and an assoc. professor in UBC Okanagan’s School of Nursing—says the program is scaling up.

“The N-CARE service has generated such interest that after the pilot study in 2015, we had nine additional sites agree to implement the program. This has the potential to assist thousands of aging Canadians,” says Pesut. “We believe N-CARE holds promise for improving the lives of adults with serious illness through a compassionate community approach.”

N-CARE meets the complex needs of an aging population, she explains. “We have an incredible resource of volunteers in Canada who can provide significant support to older adults through a ‘neighbours helping neighbours’ approach.”

N-CARE volunteers, who have training in accessing community services, provide regular in-home visits for adults who have serious illnesses. The volunteers help make connections with the supports available in their community that improve quality of life. They can also mitigate issues such as a lack of social support, loneliness and isolation, poor information about available resources, and feeling overwhelmed with decision-making.

“Older adults living with serious illnesses have unmet needs that result in poor quality of life,” says Pesut. “But, despite the challenges they experience because of their health issues, many of these adults want to continue to be engaged and productive—to give back to their communities. Volunteers help them do that.”

Because of the early successes, the Canadian Cancer Research Society is now providing funding to implement N-CARE through partnerships between hospice societies and community oncology clinics in Cranbrook, Vernon, and Smithers. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research is helping to implement N-CARE in Nelson, Vernon, Kelowna, and Osoyoos; while in Olds, Alberta and in Truro, Nova Scotia, the program will be implemented in partnerships with hospice societies and primary care providers.

The ultimate goal is to develop policy recommendations for N-CARE and to create a toolkit, which will provide the resources required for hospice societies across Canada to implement volunteer navigation in their communities.

Further information about the program can be obtained by contacting Barb Pesut, at [email protected].

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Want to feel stronger and thinner? Get some exercise

UBC study shows lasting benefits to brief workouts

Just one 30-minute bout of exercise makes women feel stronger and thinner, according to a new UBC study. And the positive effect lasts well beyond the activity itself, which may be good news for women concerned about their body image.

“Women, in general, have a tendency to feel negatively about their bodies,” says study senior author Kathleen Martin Ginis, professor in UBC Okanagan’s School of Health and Exercise Sciences. “This is a concern because poor body image can have harmful implications for a woman’s psychological and physical health including increased risk for low self-esteem, depression and for eating disorders. This study indicates exercise can have an immediate positive effect.”

Martin Ginis, along with her graduate student Lauren Salci, compared the body image and physical perceptions of women who completed 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise with those who sat and read. Women in the exercise group had significant improvements in their body image compared to those who didn’t exercise. This positive effect lasted at least 20 minutes post-exercise. The research team further established that this effect was not due to a change in the women’s mood, rather it was linked to perceiving themselves as stronger and thinner.

“We all have those days when we don’t feel great about our bodies,” says Martin Ginis. “This study and our previous research shows one way to feel better, is to get going and exercise. The effects can be immediate.”

Martin Ginis sees this study as a gateway to developing maximally effective body image-enhancing exercise interventions.

According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly one-half of North American women experience some degree of body image dissatisfaction and this has become more prevalent over the last three decades.

“We think that the feelings of strength and empowerment women achieve post exercise, stimulate an improved internal dialogue,” says Martin Ginis. “This, in turn, should generate positive thoughts and feelings about their bodies which may replace the all too common negative ones.”

The study, published in July’s issue of Psychology of Sport and Exercise, was supported by funds from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Kathleen Martin Ginis is a professor in UBC Okanagan’s School of Heath and Exercise Sciences.

Kathleen Martin Ginis is a professor in UBC Okanagan’s School of Heath and Exercise Sciences.

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Collaboration offers OC students a pathway to mining programs at BCIT

Okanagan College Media Release

Students considering a career in the mining sector – which boasts more than 120 different careers, including technology and engineering related roles – will now have the opportunity to start their education and training at Okanagan College and bridge into mining studies at BCIT.

Launching this fall, the Collaborative Mining Engineering and Technology Diploma/Degree pilot program will provide students across British Columbia with a convenient conduit into BCIT’s Mineral Exploration and Mining Technology or Mining and Mineral Resource Engineering programs.Mining June 2017

The program was launched with convenience for students in mind. The first year of training is provided locally through courses at Okanagan College in Kelowna or Penticton (all but one of the required courses can be completed at the College’s Penticton campus) and online. Students then join others from across BC to complete the diploma or degree at BCIT’s Lower Mainland campus.

“This collaborative partnership with the Mining Engineering program at BCIT is an excellent example of BC post-secondary institutions working together to increase accessibility to education not previously available in the BC interior,” says Phil Ashman, Associate Dean of Science, Technology and Health at Okanagan College. “Financially, it can be a significant cost savings for students to study close to home for a year. We are very excited to be a part of this unique provincial collaboration, providing students living in the Okanagan with local access to opportunities in the mining sector.”

“The development of this new learning pathway is a tremendous opportunity for aspiring Mining students to embark upon an exciting career as Mining Technologist or Professional Engineer,” says Dave Rutherford, Associate Dean, BCIT School of Construction and the Environment. “Congratulations to Okanagan College, College of New Caledonia, Northwest Community College and the BC Centre of Training Excellence in Mining for stepping forward and contributing to the long term training success of BC’s Mining sector.”

Okanagan College is one of three BC colleges delivering the pilot program in collaboration with BCIT. The others are College of New Caledonia (CNC) and Northwest Community College (NWCC). The project is supported by the Centre of Training Excellence in Mining (CTEM), a province-wide virtual hub that facilitates collaborative, innovative training opportunities for the British Columbia mining industry, job seekers and communities.

The collaboration is timely given the demand for skilled workers in the mining sector in BC, across Canada and internationally, according to Jill Tsolinas, Executive Director of CTEM.

“The BC mining industry needs skilled individuals to fill newly created jobs and vacancies from retirees,” explains Tsolinas. “Jobs are located in every region of the province providing employment close to home or allowing the opportunity to travel. CTEM congratulates Okanagan College and BCIT for being leaders in exploring innovative ways to deliver relevant training for the BC mining industry.”

Interested students should apply to the Associate of Science degree program at Okanagan College and speak with an advisor to express their interest in the collaborative mining pathway. They will need to complete a list of required classes at OC, in order to meet the entry requirements to step into year two of BCIT’s Mining programs.

More information is available at www.okanagan.bc.ca/mining
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Collaboration offers OC students a pathway to mining programs at BCIT

Okanagan College Media Release

Students considering a career in the mining sector – which boasts more than 120 different careers, including technology and engineering related roles – will now have the opportunity to start their education and training at Okanagan College and bridge into mining studies at BCIT.

Launching this fall, the Collaborative Mining Engineering and Technology Diploma/Degree pilot program will provide students across British Columbia with a convenient conduit into BCIT’s Mineral Exploration and Mining Technology or Mining and Mineral Resource Engineering programs.Mining June 2017

The program was launched with convenience for students in mind. The first year of training is provided locally through courses at Okanagan College in Kelowna or Penticton (all but one of the required courses can be completed at the College’s Penticton campus) and online. Students then join others from across BC to complete the diploma or degree at BCIT’s Lower Mainland campus.

“This collaborative partnership with the Mining Engineering program at BCIT is an excellent example of BC post-secondary institutions working together to increase accessibility to education not previously available in the BC interior,” says Phil Ashman, Associate Dean of Science, Technology and Health at Okanagan College. “Financially, it can be a significant cost savings for students to study close to home for a year. We are very excited to be a part of this unique provincial collaboration, providing students living in the Okanagan with local access to opportunities in the mining sector.”

“The development of this new learning pathway is a tremendous opportunity for aspiring Mining students to embark upon an exciting career as Mining Technologist or Professional Engineer,” says Dave Rutherford, Associate Dean, BCIT School of Construction and the Environment. “Congratulations to Okanagan College, College of New Caledonia, Northwest Community College and the BC Centre of Training Excellence in Mining for stepping forward and contributing to the long term training success of BC’s Mining sector.”

Okanagan College is one of three BC colleges delivering the pilot program in collaboration with BCIT. The others are College of New Caledonia (CNC) and Northwest Community College (NWCC). The project is supported by the Centre of Training Excellence in Mining (CTEM), a province-wide virtual hub that facilitates collaborative, innovative training opportunities for the British Columbia mining industry, job seekers and communities.

The collaboration is timely given the demand for skilled workers in the mining sector in BC, across Canada and internationally, according to Jill Tsolinas, Executive Director of CTEM.

“The BC mining industry needs skilled individuals to fill newly created jobs and vacancies from retirees,” explains Tsolinas. “Jobs are located in every region of the province providing employment close to home or allowing the opportunity to travel. CTEM congratulates Okanagan College and BCIT for being leaders in exploring innovative ways to deliver relevant training for the BC mining industry.”

Interested students should apply to the Associate of Science degree program at Okanagan College and speak with an advisor to express their interest in the collaborative mining pathway. They will need to complete a list of required classes at OC, in order to meet the entry requirements to step into year two of BCIT’s Mining programs.

More information is available at www.okanagan.bc.ca/mining
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