Our current Business/Employer Survey is revealing the worker skills employers need now and the skills they expect to need in the future. Business people we have interviewed so far have not all responded in the same way. For example, some employers operating in our area have no difficulty hiring locally, while others may have to recruit from far away. Some have difficulty finding temporary workers; others have difficulty finding long-term employees. Some are willing to invest in training their employees, others are not. Some feel Tumbler Ridge is a great place to do business, others are cautious about investing here.

Our Resident Labour Market Survey, now completed, is bringing to light the labour skills we have available in Tumbler Ridge, the skills we are missing, and the skills we would like to develop. The workforce people who filled out that survey do not necessarily see things the same way as employers. For example, almost everyone working in the natural resource extraction industries operating in our area needs certain basic safety training courses, but many local workers who want to enter those industries are not seeking the required training. Once the Business/Employer Survey process is complete and we compare the two surveys, we will be able to report formally on the findings and identify where work needs to be done to resolve issues.

The responses indicate the community wants to move beyond depending primarily on a few major resource industries. We want to attract people of all ages and varied vocations to live here or visit. Overall economic and social improvement requires active participation by citizens who can lead, organize, collaborate, and communicate effectively in their volunteer work and employment. As a great example of what can be done when we apply those kinds of skills, I?d like to take this moment to recognize the people working in the Museum Foundation Society. Their volunteer time and talents have already created new full time jobs in our community and increased tourism, and the Society is working toward building new facilities and programs. They work in partnership with business and industry, government, and each other to achieve these things. Their efforts add quality and diversity to our economic and social life, making our community more stable and attractive.

The Project is offering a series of skill development workshops to raise community awareness and improve on our ability to work together. The first workshop, on Fundraising, has already been delivered, and the next one is described in the ad attached to this article. These workshops, ending in March, are designed to help community leaders, volunteers, business people, and employees become more effective. If you would like to make a more positive difference in your community, please register for the courses at Northern Lights College.

In closing, I?d like to call your attention back to who is behind our Project. The following agencies want to work with all of us to ensure a bright future.

?District of Tumbler Ridge Economic

Development Department

?Tumbler Ridge Employment Needs

Development Services (TRENDS)

?Northern Lights College (TR Campus)

?Tumbler Ridge Community Arts Council

?Tumbler Ridge Secondary School

A Steering Committee of Tumbler Ridge volunteers monitors the Project, provides advice, and facilitates public meetings. They will be glad to talk to you about the Project.

Bob Norman

Brenda Banham

Celma and Duane Schribar

Dave Price

Jenna Trudeau

John Kohlhauser

Mila Lansdowne

Thea Ferrari

Dave Pipe

Tammy Pigeon

Roxanne Fowlow

Many others have provided their input in visioning sessions and through the surveys. Everyone who cares about the future of the community will be asked to help implement the outcomes of this project. This project belongs to everyone in the community.

Day to day work is directed by Duncan Holmes, Project Coordinator, with ICA Associates Inc., Toronto. Duncan is a professional facilitator with a lot of experience helping communities to set goals and move toward them. He is responsible for the methods used in this Project, and I report to him.

The Community Visioning and Labour Market Planning Project is creating a legacy of ongoing improvement through citizen planning and action. Please participate. You are invited to visit our project website, www.trfuture.org If you have property in Tumbler Ridge and live somewhere else, please fill out our online Non-Resident Property Owner Survey and offer your vision for the future of Tumbler Ridge by clicking on the Focus Group link.

Ryan Murray, Project Administrator

(250) 242-5591, extension 4403

The Government of Canada has contributed funding to this initiative.



Saturday, January 21, 2006, 9:30 – 4:30

Northern Lights College (TR Campus)

Instructor: Duncan Holmes

Cost: $20.00

Can meetings in your community organization be more efficient, effective, and better-documented? If so, this workshop can help current and future leaders in your organization improve your meetings. The following features of successful meetings will be examined:

An itemized agenda reflecting a clearly defined purpose

A meeting plan that identifies and supports:

?the meeting purpose and importance

?the level of participation and interaction expected or needed

?who needs to be at the meeting and who does not

People are prepared for the meeting ahead of time

Effective time and space management, including:

?having an appropriate meeting space and set-up

?welcoming and preparing guests

?setting ground rules and following them

?keeping on track

?getting needed participation and interaction

?dealing with difficult people

Follow-up, including

?appropriate minutes based on effective note-taking

?a clear record of decisions and actions to be taken by whom

Registration is at Northern Lights College (TR Campus) (250) 242-5591