Up to 15 people in the Campbell River area will get the chance to gain new skills and training as community support or mental health care workers, thanks to funding from the province.

Discovery Community College is getting more than $150,000 from WorkBC’s Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) Project-Based Labour Market Training, to provide classroom training and on-the-job work experience to program participants.

The program also prioritizes participants such as Indigenous peoples, immigrants, youth, multi-barrier and survivors of violence and/or abuse. 

North Island MLA Claire Trevena says the funding will educate and train people to eventually tackle the ongoing issues in the community.

“Knowing that we’re supporting people in Campbell River to get the skills they need to fill in-demand jobs while helping community members, is heartening,” said Trevena.

“Having additional community support or mental health care workers in Campbell River will go a long way in battling the unprecedented dual public-health emergencies we’re facing with COVID-19 and the overdose crisis.”

Once their training and work experience is complete, participants will receive two weeks of employment support to prepare them to work as community support or mental health care workers in the Campbell River area

Partnering in the project is the Campbell River Transition Society, the Campbell River Beacon Club and the John Howard Society Campbell River.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Government of British Columbia to help people get the skills they need to make a difference in their community,” said Desiree King, community partnership manager at Discovery Community College’s campus in Campbell River. 

“We’re also thankful for the support of the other partners in this program who help students get the hands-on experience they need to pursue their new career in community support work.”

Participants begin in-class learning on August 24th. The program runs until April 16th, 2021.