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Mining Rocks Smithers

The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, (MEMPR) will be launching its Mining Rocks Career and Job Opportunities Tour 2006 this Wednesday in Smithers - home of Northwest Community Colleges School of Exploration and Mining. The School recently received a $300,000 grant from MEMPR for year two of its industry training programs and has set the standard for delivery from which the government will expand educational offerings throughout the province. The School and its program offerings will be featured at the fair. Offered in partnership with the Smithers Exploration Group (SEG), the School delivers basic exploration skills training programs to local and First Nations communities in the northwest region of the province. 2005 marked the first year of its operation which resulted in seven separate offerings of the 6-day Exploration Skills program and a Driller's Helper Program. This year's new Mineral Exploration Field Assistant program will provide graduates with the necessary pre-employment skills to obtain employment with exploration companies and will be offered onsite in base camps located throughout the northwest. "The northwest is the hottest area in the province for exploration, with spending topping the $100 million mark in 2005," says NWCC president Stephanie Forsyth. "This job fair will help us get the message out that we can help companies prepare potential employees for the coming field season." Smithers is the first stop of the Tour whose series of job fairs are aimed at meeting the dramatic increase in the demand for jobs in the mineral exploration and mining industry. The fairs will provide information on job opportunities and career options in the mineral exploration and mining industries and actively promote the participation of First Nations and rural communities. The fairs will also promote awareness of the resource industry's skills and training requirements and increase public awareness of how mining benefits communities. More than 20 fairs will be held around the province. "I think job fairs are a great way for people to discover employment opportunities, especially in rural areas in the north," said Smithers Mayor Jim Davidson. "This fair will help the members of our community gain knowledge about the mining industry that they might not otherwise have known." The Smithers job fair runs from 10 am until 2 pm at the Dze L K'ant Friendship Centre. An official welcome from MEMPR and the local First Nations, industry, Northwest Community College and the town of Smithers will start the event. Mining, exploration, diamond drill companies and expediters, along with educational institutions, local employment agencies and the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources staff will be available to answer questions at the fair.

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