Mobile classroom helps students in northwest British Columbia access trades training

News release

Federal investment helps Coast Mountain College expand mobile trades training programs

September 3, 2019 – Terrace, British Columbia – Western Economic Diversification Canada

Students from around northwest British Columbia will have the opportunity to gain new skills needed to find well-paying jobs in the region’s growing resource sector.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, announced $1.3 million for Coast Mountain College to expand courses offered by their Mobile Training Unit (MTU) to students living in rural and remote areas. As many of Coast Mountain College’s students are women, youth, or Indigenous peoples, the mobile classroom lowers the barrier to receiving trades training and helps build a more inclusive workforce in sectors such as liquefied natural gas, mining, construction, and oil and gas.

Coast Mountain College and the CMTN Foundation also invested more than $700,000 toward the mobile classroom.

The flexible and innovative MTU can be reconfigured to teach a wide variety of courses and programs from professional cook, to business to health programs. It also allows Indigenous and other students in remote communities to access targeted training, such as the successful Gas Process Operator program run in partnership with Alta Gas in 2018. All 11 graduates of that program were offered full-time positions at Alta Gas’ Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal.

Changes to the country’s economy, including recent economic growth and demographic pressures, such as an aging workforce, have increased the demand for skilled tradespeople. Indigenous peoples represent one of the fastest growing populations in Canada. Coast Mountain College’s mobile classroom will help ensure that all Canadians, including those living in rural and remote communities, can share and benefit from the growing economy and take advantage of labour market opportunities.


“Our prosperity depends on ensuring Canadian students, from coast to coast to coast, are able to receive the skills, training, and experience they need to get good quality jobs in the modern economy. Our government is proud to support a program that helps women, youth, and Indigenous peoples start exciting and well-paying careers in the trades.”
- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

“This mobile training unit is critical to ensuring that education is accessible and reaches people where they live. This is vital to bringing innovative programming to remote and Indigenous communities.”
- Ken Burt, CEO from Coast Mountain College

“Very early in developing the project, we recognized there was a unique opportunity to develop an entry-level training program that provided members of the community and local First Nations with the necessary skills to get involved with our operations. The leadership and support of our community partners, paired with the dedication and hard work of the students, have combined to make the AltaGas Operator Training Program a great success.”
- Dan Woznow, Senior Vice President, Energy Exports from AltaGas

Quick facts

  • Over the next three years, Coast Mountain College’s mobile trades training program will train more than 100 students.

  • According to the 2017 BC Labour Market Outlook, there are 11,700 job openings anticipated over the next 10 years in trades-related occupations in British Columbia.

Associated links


Ben Letts
Communications Advisor
Western Economic Diversification Canada

Coast Mountain College
Sarah Zimmerman
Executive Director, Communications
Coast Mountain College

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