Aboriginal people in northwestern Ontario are already preparing to compete for jobs at Weyerhaeuser Co. Ltd.'s Trus Joist engineered lumber plant in Kenora, even though the plant's opening is still many months away.
Hiring for plant jobs won't take place for another year, but Aboriginal people in Kenora and the surrounding First Nations have been taking steps toward securing jobs in the plant for several weeks.
The Ne-Chee Friendship Centre in Kenora has been providing information on Trus Joist job opportunities and asking potential Aboriginal employees to fill out related skills assessment surveys. Similar skills inventory work is being co-ordinated by the Kenora Chiefs Advisory Office in the Dalles First Nation.
Input from the urban surveys, along with that collected in First Nations, will be used to develop a 10-month pre-employment training program to prepare participants for work in the Trus Joist plant or in other spinoff industries.