On June 18, the Municipal District of 100 Mile House met representatives from multiple agencies making up the Community Transition support team to deal with the mill closures and curtailments this past month.
Groups involved include the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (MoF), Norbord, Public Private Workers of Canada Local Union #9 (PPWC), Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction (MoSDPR), Ministry of Advanced Education (MoAE), Community Futures, Work BC, Thompson Rivers University (TRU), Cariboo Regional District (CRD) area directors from G, H, and L, South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce (SCCC) and the Cariboo Family Enrichment Family Centre (CFEFC).
“We appreciate the willingness of all these agencies and passionate individuals coming together to help develop supports for the community and impacted workers. Right now we are in a brainstorming stage, taking stock of good ideas and beginning to determine the best ways to move ideas to action quickly. We know lots of these supports will be valuable to those workers of Chasm and 100 Mile House sawmill also. We are open to collaboration with the Cariboo Regional District and our neighbours to the south around these challenging times. We know that we are stronger together, and together we are going to come up with community-focused actions to help meet these needs,” said Mayor Mitch Campsall.
According to the council’s June 21 news release, the PPWC, along with Campsall and council, brought up the need for increased mental health supports for the community. Support for small business, contractors/suppliers doing business with the forestry sector was also mentioned. The press release states they are “planning for worker and economic transition to help give impacted workers resources and direction from which to leverage new employment in the area.”
“Out of the meeting, ideas generated for actioning included the delivery of a worker needs impact assessment with Norbord workers to help determine their greatest needs, interests, and identify what community and individual supports will be useful for helping them to situate in other sectors for employment, discussion around multiple avenues to provide job posting information to workers, and the potential of a town hall meeting to assist in information dissemination with the broader community,” said the press release.
Joanne Doddridge, economic development officer for the district, identified that the CRD (including the District of 100 Mile House and other member municipalities) is conducting a labour market research study. The study analyses labour shifts and future labour opportunities in the region as part of a five-year labour strategy.
“This information will be highly useful to the South Cariboo area and District of 100 Mile House to help target retraining for labour needs of the present and future in the area,” said the release.