By: The Working Forest Staff
TIMMINS — Among students, trade shop equipment, faculty members, industry representatives, and local partners, Northern College and EACOM Timber Corporation formalized their partnership this morning by signing an innovative memorandum of understanding.
The memorandum, which takes effect immediately, outlines a three-year mutually beneficial agreement that encourages teaching partnerships, recruitment and employment initiatives, speaking engagement opportunities, applied research, co-op placements, curriculum support and scholarship offerings. EACOM is also contributing $5,000 towards the purchasing of a machine tool chip conveyor learning system for the College’s shop to encourage hands-on learning for the next generation of industrial millwrights, heavy equipment mechanics, and instrumentation technicians.
“We are absolutely delighted to enter into an educational partnership with EACOM Timber Corporation, one of the premier wood products companies in Canada,” stated Northern College president, Dr. Fred Gibbons. “EACOM understands the synergy that can be created when the education and forestry sectors collaborate and undertake proactive measures to build a skilled workforce for the future.”
As Northern and EACOM explore the benefits of what is hoped to become a long-term partnership, both organizations view this as an opportunity to exhibit how community stakeholders can incite change in the wellbeing of their home communities through the fostering of closer collaboration between the college and industry.
“With this agreement, EACOM is taking a proactive approach to helping solve the skilled trades shortage that we are experiencing in Northern Ontario,” stated Aaron Klooster, dean of Trades and Technology. “Northern College is quite proud to call EACOM our partner in this first-of-its-kind endeavour as we see this agreement as a model for how colleges and industry can work together to strengthen our communities.”
Providing this manner of industry direct training to students not only benefits the learner, it contributes towards filling projected employment gaps within the forestry sector for skilled labourers like millwrights, heavy equipment mechanics, and instrumentation professionals.
“An ever-growing urbanized society coupled with the cyclical nature of our industry have created important labour gaps across our operations in Northern Ontario and Quebec in recent years. Guided by our values of collaboration and learning, we have found in Northern College a partner to help us shift the current dynamics and propel opportunities for the next generation in our communities,” explained Kevin Edgson, President and Chief Executive Officer, EACOM. “From Ear Falls to Gogama, Sault Ste. Marie to Timmins, Team EACOM is excited to embark on this partnership to enrich education, boost employment and drive local social and economic benefits.”
For students enrolled in programs earmarked for internship opportunities, this means a tangible pathway to acquire experiential learning and ultimately the prospect for future employment opportunities within the forestry sector.
“This opportunity will allow our students to grow with industry at a higher level and the new trainers that will result from this partnership will help us better prepare our students for work within the forestry industry,” stated Marcel Poliquin, Technology and Trades Professor at Northern College. “This partnership between both parties will help prepare our growing minds for their future career journey.”
This memorandum will stand for three years, with the potential to renew the agreement based on the results of this primary agreement period.
About Northern College
Founded in 1967, Northern College offers over 75 programs in the areas of Business and Office Administration, Community Services, Health Sciences and Emergency Services, Engineering Technology and Trades, Veterinary Sciences and Welding Engineering Technology. Northern has campuses in Timmins, Haileybury, Kirkland Lake and Moosonee, and is a leader in distance learning delivery. To learn more about Northern College, visit northerncollege.ca
About EACOM Timber Corporation
EACOM Timber Corporation is a major Eastern Canadian wood products company. Operations include the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of lumber and wood-based value-added products, and the management of forest resources. EACOM owns seven sawmills, a remanufacturing facility, and an engineered I-joist plant with over 1,200 employees. The Company is committed to investing in strong assets, including healthy forests, advanced technology, and talented people.
Visit our website at www.EACOM.ca and follow us on Twitter @EACOMTimberCo.