Fort Nelson, British Columbia
Technology and Personal Skills Project
Project Lead: Seanah Roper, Fort Nelson Community Literacy Society
Fort Nelson is a small, remote community along the Alaska Highway in northeastern BC with a population of approximately 3500. The area includes Fort Nelson First Nation and the neighbouring Prophet River First Nation. The town has been in steady economic decline for the past twelve years, with the initial closure of two main lumber mills and the eventual and continuing decline of the oil and gas industry. It has shrunk in population by about fifty percent and has seen many social and community issues arise as a result of the poor economy.
Now, with a new pellet plant being built, Fort Nelson is seeing the first sign of economic activity in over a decade. Job opportunities will be available for community members and there is a need to prepare and to address some core individual issues, including skill sets and confidence.
The Technology and Personal Skills project addressed the whole learner. It focused on job preparedness and personal learning, offering digital literacy training, employment skills, and workplace safety tickets. There was dedicated time spent on social-emotional learning, mindfulness and personal development for healing and self worth.
The project addressed not only practical skills and training, but the foundational issues that often hold individuals back in their pursuits. The project was holistic and individualized; it was a blend of learner-centred approach and small group training that touched on all aspects of the learners’ needs.
This beta-test site has developed and shared curricula for their training delivery.