Coronach, SK

A large rock formation found in Coronach, Saskatchewan
Photo by Jan Smith.

Surviving Downsizing: Reimagining Yourself in a Post-Layoff World

Project Lead: Jan Smith, Palliser Regional Library


The Poplar Valley Mine and SaskPower’s Coronach Power Plant will be closing over the next three years and 300 employees will be out of work (area population 1498).

About thirty percent of the working aged population have high school education or less. This area is rural and remote and has no other major employers. It is on the American border, two and half hours from Regina.

Most of the workers have never worked anywhere else and have been out of the job market for so long they do not even know where to start. What makes this project unique is that the aim is to proactively address the post-closure retraining and job-hunting issue by creating a service that will, over the next six years, effectively mitigate not only the displaced workers experiences but their families’ experiences as well. The project will use the skills and resources developed during COVID-19 to deliver these courses.

Using Zoom and working with the communities and our partners, the project will:

  1. In consultation with partners and students, design a re-education plan using best practices.
  2. Promote and add modules to the online academy based on employee training needs. Two, possibly three levels of courses will be required: basic and advanced/job hunting/skills updates.
  3. Consolidate into packages and curate new courses as proposed by stakeholders.
  4. Create additional modules on how to job hunt: resume writing, using social media services such as LinkedIn, using Zoom for interviews. There are hopes to expand it to include applying for E.I. and applying for retraining funding through government.
  5. Evaluate results. Make the plan available to all interested (towns’ companies, farmers and ranchers), as there are many more mine closures expected across the province in the next decade.


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