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Waywayseecappo, Assiniboine partner to deliver construction program

Waywayseecappo, Assiniboine partner to deliver construction program

Written On: 12 July, 2017
Category: Federal Funding Indigenous Community Partnerships Trades

For some, the summer months in Manitoba are a time for rest and relaxation, but for fifteen students in Waywayseecappo First Nation, their studies are just ramping up.

Waywayseecappo and Assiniboine Community College are partnering to deliver a community-based 26-week Applied Building Construction program starting this July – a first for the First Nation. 

There’s clear demand for this type of training and it’s only expected to grow.

Colleen Clearsky, Director of Education for Waywayseecappo says they build six to ten housing units every year, yet only have one Red Seal carpenter in the community.

Assiniboine has a long history of partnering with communities to develop and deliver place-based education. This program includes a part-time job coach throughout the six months and to follow up with students after their three-week work practicum placement. The intent is to help graduates of the program enter the workforce more quickly with the right kind of support.

“There are mechanisms in place to capture motivation and help to move students beyond level one training within the community,” said Ben Welsh, Credential Program Con Ed Coordinator at Assiniboine.

A job coach helps to motivate students by showing pathways to success and helping to bridge education to employment in their field of study. Welsh says positive role models allow students to see what’s possible and they provide an environment that encourages and facilitates employment opportunities.

“The job coach will be a role model for others, and it will have the added benefit of employing someone for a while as unemployment is high in First Nation communities,” said Clearsky.

In addition to the job coach, the program team includes a full-time and part-time instructor both with their Red Seal, and an Education Assistant. 

“Our goals are to increase student engagement throughout the length of the program and ultimately to provide meaningful, practical training that leads to jobs,” said Welsh.

Assiniboine is working with the community’s housing department to complete the build of a split-level bungalow home in the community, allowing students to be directly involved in community development and leave a legacy through their educational journey.

The three-week practicum component is recognized by Apprenticeship Manitoba and counts towards the practical hours needed to attain Level One. 

Many students enrolled in the program have expressed an interest in starting their own businesses to benefit their community. “We always encourage community members in whatever opportunities they want to pursue in education depending on funding availability,” said Clearsky.

The Applied Building Construction program is receiving $199,325 in funding from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada's Post-Secondary Partnership Program (PSPP), and being delivered in partnership with Waywayseecappo First Nation and Assiniboine Community College.

“Exciting partnerships like the Applied Building Construction program empower Indigenous people to take control of their own futures,” said The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs. “Thanks to the innovative thinking of the Waywayseecappo First Nation and Assiniboine Community College, these 15 students will get the skills they need to reinvest in their communities and make them stronger. Canada is proud to support this effort through its Post-Secondary Partnership Program.”