SIIT celebrates Career Centre opening in La Loche

The Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) celebrated the opening of its 10th SIIT Pop-Up Career Centre in Saskatchewan with a Grand Opening in the Northern Village of La Loche Thursday, Jan. 25.

The centre is part of SIIT’s “unwavering commitment to fostering economic empowerment and professional growth for First Nation communities throughout the province,” reads an SIIT news release.

On hand to celebrate the opening were speakers, Robert St. Pierre, with Nexgen Energy; Eric Sylvestre with Fission Uranium Corporation; Candace Janvier representing the Northern Village of La Loche; Randy Belanger of the Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI); Keith Shewchuk, the president of Métis Local 39; and MLA Jim Lemaigre.

SIIT thanked those who came for the opening ceremonies.

“Our staff is excited to start working with the community,” reads the thank you notice, information taken from SIIT Facebook and website.

The centre is designed, as are the other nine across the province, to offer a “service plan that responds to local labour market opportunity” to meet the needs of La Loche and the surrounding area folks seeking employment opportunities.

They offer skill programming with each prospective client being given a intake interview to explore their talents and any barriers they might have. This leads to the creation and development of an action plan. Centre staff work with the client on their action plan in a relationship which may last two weeks to several years, depending on whether the client finds employment right away, works through to develop skills in the areas of resume building and interview skills, for example, or seeks post-secondary training, apprenticeship, or other community services.

Career counselling and job coaching, resume building and interview skill enhancement, are some of the services available through the centre.

Prospective clients also have the opportunity to earn different Safety tickets, such as: Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System, (WHMIS); Construction Safety Training System (CSTS); Safety Construction Orientation Training (SCOT); and more.

The new centre brings job seekers from the area into a network of more than 4,100 clients working to gain sustainable employment.

“Clients set their objectives, local employers identify their workforce needs and we create alignment between the two,” Lisa Shingoose, vice-president of Employment Development and Career Services, is quoted as saying in the news release.

Staff at the centres work toward building relationships with community employers in an effort to provide employment options and experience for local employment seekers throughout the area through the centre.

“We are passionate about the work and approach each new client and employer relationship with versatility to create success,” Shingoose said in a news release.

The centre has links to more than 1,100 employers seeking to hire.

SIIT began creating Pop-Up Career Centres throughout the province in 1987 and have established centres in Creighton, La Ronge, Lloydminster, Meadow Lake, Prince Albert, Regina, Saskatoon, Yorkton and the Battlefords.

Established in 1976 by Saskatchewan First Nation Chiefs in all Treaty areas, SIIT remains First Nation governed and is “one of only four credit-granting post-secondary institutions in the province.

“SIIT provides adult learners with academic, vocational, and technical training, as well as [providing] supports for employment and career growth” with Indigenous people as the core, “representing more than 95 per cent of the student body.”

Thank you to Mayor Georgina Jolibois for forwarding the La Loche information.