Over $300,000 of government funding will help create more health-care student spaces at Selkirk College’s Trail campus this year.
The Ministry of Advanced Education announced Tuesday it is providing one-time funding to help train health-care professionals in the East and West Kootenay regions.
The Trail campus is slated to receive over $175,000 to fund 18 student spaces in the health-care assistant program for the 2012-13 year.
Selkirk College president Angus Graeme said the funding is great news for the Trail campus.
“It gives us a bit more capacity to respond to the community,” he said.
“These resources from the ministry will allow us to do an additional intake of the home-care assistants in January,” Graeme explained. “Now we’ll be able to graduate two classes this year.”
The Trail campus will also receive over $135,000 from the Justice Institute of B.C. for 15 part-time student spaces this year to support the B.C. Ambulance Service’s paramedic recruitment and staffing needs.
“We have worked with the Justice Institute of B.C. (JIBC) for a number of years to make sure, when it is needed, that local paramedic training is available,” said Graeme.
He added the funding would also enable students to enter into that health-care field without having to travel to Vancouver for studies.
“The JIBC has a mandate to provide training for justice and public safety professionals across the province,” said Jack McGee, president of the JIBC in a press release.
“The additional funding provided for the program by the Ministry of Advanced Education will help to fulfill our mandate to ensure that students have access to the education and training they need, closer to home.”
The link between Trail and the health-care industry is an important and obvious one, said Graeme.
“One of our principal partners in workforce development is the health authority. And there’s a lot of that going on in Trail.
“Selkirk College is committed to supporting our employers to meet their workforce needs, and the health sector is a critical partner in this work.”
Although Graeme was very appreciative of the funding, he said the one-time commitments would not solve all the college’s fiscal concerns.
“This is all really helpful but I’ll continue to advocate for continuing funding.”
Graeme was in Trail on Tuesday to welcome students into the new school year.
While the Nelson and Castlegar campuses have seen numbers stagnate over the last couple of years, Trail continues to attract a healthy number of students.
“Trail has always been very good at supporting new and returning learners,” said Graeme, adding the numbers are up in Trail again this year.
He credited the programs and the teachers in Trail as well as the student response.
“We do adult basic education here a continuing education and that’s always well subscribed here.”
The ministry also announced that the College of the Rockies campuses in Creston and Invermere would be receiving over $230,000 in one-time funding for 16 health-care assistant student spaces in each campus.