Opening doors for increased Aboriginal inclusion

Merle Cahoose, a member of the Ulkatcho First Nation, graduated from AMTA's Heavy Equipment Operator program in 2013. (CNW Group/Aboriginal Mentoring & Training Association (AMTA))

AMTA's proven solution to Aboriginal workforce development now available across British Columbia's resource sector

VANCOUVER, Feb. 25, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the Aboriginal Mentoring & Training Association (AMTA), formerly the British Columbia Aboriginal Mine Training Association, announced it is making its Aboriginal workforce development solution available to resource-sector industries across the province. This will open the door to increased Aboriginal workforce inclusion and contributions to Canada's provincial and national economies.

"Our mission, and the work we do, will not change," says Laurie Sterritt, AMTA's chief executive officer. "We remain committed to empowering First Nations to create economic health for themselves and their communities through skills training, education and career opportunities. What's changed is that we'll be working with a broader group of resource-sector partners and companies, with more potential job opportunities for AMTA candidates."

Four years ago, representatives from industry, government, educational institutes and First Nations began AMTA with the goal of connecting Aboriginal people to jobs in BC's exploration and mining industry. The resulting Aboriginal workforce development model has challenged assumptions about Aboriginal workers and has offered critical solutions for our industry partners.

"More than 200 employers have hired AMTA candidates because they are trained, certified to recognized industry standards and are ready to work," continues Sterritt. "Our roots will always be in exploration and mining, but we've created a business solution other industries want to adopt; a solution that benefits many First Nation communities and our provincial and national economies."

Companies working across the resource sector are looking for ways to respond to labour shortages within their own industries. Graham, one of Canada's largest construction companies, approached AMTA earlier this year, recognizing alignment in the two organizations' approaches to workforce development.

"Graham builds deep roots in the communities where we operate," says Trevor McGiveron, Graham's Director, Strategic Accounts. "Whenever possible we hire locally, and we recognize the importance of building collaborative partnerships with organizations that help us do this. We're very impressed with the results AMTA has achieved in the mining sector, and are eager to work together to provide Aboriginal people with opportunities for skills upgrading, education and project-specific training in the construction sector."

Since 2010, AMTA has placed more than 715 Aboriginal people into jobs and has registered almost 2300 more in a variety of education, training and development initiatives. According to a report from Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP (PwC), AMTA candidates contribute approximately $137,000 to Canada's gross domestic product, $107,000 of which is realised in BC. This results in a total impact to the national economy of almost $98 million annually.

ABOUT AMTA
AMTA provides a credible and proven Aboriginal workforce development solution to Canadian resource sector industries looking for workers. To learn more about AMTA, visit www.amta-bc.com.

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SOURCE Aboriginal Mentoring & Training Association (AMTA)

Image with caption: "Merle Cahoose, a member of the Ulkatcho First Nation, graduated from AMTA's Heavy Equipment Operator program in 2013. (CNW Group/Aboriginal Mentoring & Training Association (AMTA))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140225_C6985_PHOTO_EN_37102.jpg

For further information:

Media:
Michelle Nahanee
Marketing and Communications Manager
604-681-4321 ext. 121 or 778-870-5411
mnahanee@amta-bc.com

Industry:
Laurie Sterritt
CEO
604‐681‐4321 ext. 112
lsterritt@amta-bc.com