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College of the Rockies graduates first all-female Haul Truck class

 College of the Rockies Haul Truck Operator program graduate, Meagan Sam, receives her certificate of completion from instructor Darren Hood and AMTA Program Manager Suzanne Pederson.  Meagan was one of six women who completed the first all-female class.  - Photo submitted
College of the Rockies Haul Truck Operator program graduate, Meagan Sam, receives her certificate of completion from instructor Darren Hood and AMTA Program Manager Suzanne Pederson. Meagan was one of six women who completed the first all-female class.
— image credit: Photo submitted

 

College of the Rockies’ Haul Truck program celebrated the graduation of its first all-female class.  Six women from both BC and Alberta successfully completed the program on Friday, March 28.

The all-female class came about through a partnership with the Aboriginal Mentoring and Training Association (AMTA).  Half of the participants came to the haul truck program through AMTA.

College of the Rockies’ Director of Continuing Education, Contract Training & Regional Campuses Leah Bradish says, “AMTA was interested in us offering an all women intake as currently women make up only about five percent of the workforce in mines and they are an excellent source of skilled workers for the industry.  This group of women was very enthusiastic and excited about the potential to gain employment in the mining industry in Western Canada.”

AMTA Manager of Programming for the Kootenay Region, Suzanne Pederson agrees, “This was an outstanding chance for us to continue to work with the College to provide opportunities for these COTR students and AMTA candidates to find employment in this ever-growing field.”

Meagan Sam, one of the students enrolled in the March haul truck class, travelled from Williams Lake for the training.  She was offered employment with Ledcor Group, a contractor for Gibraltar Mine even before completing the course.

“The program and the instructor, Hoody, were both great,” Sam says. “I am so glad that I was able to gain experience in emergency scenarios in a simulator so I know how to react if I run into trouble on the job.  I am definitely going to be more comfortable driving a haul truck in my new job having been through this training.”

Throughout the region, the haul truck operator training has been well-supported.  “Teck went above and beyond for this group, providing a tour of their Fording River operations to the students.  We can’t thank them enough for that.  We also greatly appreciate our partnership with AMTA and all of the support they have given the haul truck program from the start,” Bradish adds.

The four-week haul truck program combines classroom instruction, online coursework and safety tickets with one-on-one coaching on the College’s motion-based haul truck simulators.  The simulators provide a virtual haul truck driving experience in a variety of weather and emergency situations.  The program runs monthly in both Cranbrook and Fernie.  The mobile simulator will be ready by the end of April and will be available to provide training anywhere in Western Canada.

To learn more about College of the Rockies’ Haul Truck program, go to: cotr.ca/haul-truck

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