Skip to content

New partnership to build skilled trades capacity in the North

Impala Canada providing $120,000 to help Confederation College promote skilled trades in the northwest
Confederation College
Confederation College in Thunder Bay

THUNDER BAY — A new partnership is working towards building a pipeline of skilled trade talent in Northwestern Ontario.

On Feb. 23, Impala Canada and Confederation College announced a $120,000 investment and partnership between the two organizations to help support the college and its students in the electrical/instrumentation engineering, millwright, and heavy equipment mechanic programs at several points in the postsecondary journey, from the recruitment of new students to tuition support and on-the-job training.

“Confederation College plays an important role in Northwestern Ontario, educating and preparing individuals for rewarding careers in the skilled trades,” said Tim Hill, Impala Canada's CEO.

“A career in a skilled trade provides a solid future, one where students discover their potential and their ability to contribute to the communities they call home. We look forward to partnering with Confederation College to support training pathways for students to help sustain employment and education in the region.”

Over the next three academic years, the $120,000 from Impala Canada is intended to enable the college to recruit broadly for its skilled trades programs and remove any unexpected financial barriers that might prevent a student from graduating.

“It’s hard to quantify the impact that financial support can have on a student. To the ones providing these opportunities, I imagine the driving force must be to aid new students to bolster a workforce in need of new, talented people,” said Confederation College student Andrew Morrison.

“However, to the student who received those awards, they’re helping at the perfect time for a full tank of gas and vehicle of change, a fridge full of future knowledge and experience. It can mean the difference between struggling and thriving in many ways while a person is trying to succeed in their academic pursuits.”

As part of the investment and partnership, students will be able to visit Impala Canada’s Lac des Iles mine site to understand the opportunities mining presents and Confederation College’s Skilled Trades students will be provided with opportunities for apprenticeships and co-op placements.

“Supported by Impala Canada’s generous investment, I am excited that Confederation College will be able to intensify its recruitment efforts that seek to attract both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students who may be interested in skilled trades,” said Confederation College president Kathleen Lynch.

“This partnership will provide opportunities to those who may have not have otherwise been able to pursue their aspirations, while also contributing to the economies that drive northwest Ontario.”

— TBNewswatch