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Trail British Columbia

Trail, British Columbia, Canada

About My City: Trail

Trail was incorporated in 1895 when a small smelter operation opened to service the Rossland mines. Largely a single-industry, resource- based economy, home to the largest lead-zinc smelter complex of its kind in the world. The smelter workforce however has shrunk from 4,500 to 1,600 high-paying jobs over 25 years. There has been a rapid demographic shift as birthrates decline and many youth leave the community. Low cost housing in Trail has resulted in an in-migration of individuals and families dependent on the social safety net. In two years, the number of public schools decreased from 25 to 11. In nearby Rossland, major recreation developments are underway, resulting in a building boom and increased numbers of wealthy absentee condominium owners. A major workforce renewal is anticipated in the coming 3-5 years as smelter workers and others in the community retire The region has a rich sporting history and is very proud of the legendary Trail Smoke Eaters, the amateur hockey team as well as a number of Olympic medal winners in skiing.

About My Organization:

The Skills Centre opened their doors in 1997, back then we were a different organization than we are today. Seventeen years ago our staff consisted of three people and we held one small contract, today our staff consists of 15 people and we hold several diverse contracts, from the WorkBC contract where we deliver employment services, to managing the Teck Learning Centre for Teck Ltd.

My Collaborative:

The Women Creating Change community plan is an economic development strategy developed through a gendered lens that mirrors a poverty reduction strategy, and is focused on creating economic opportunity for women. In 2012-13, baseline data was gathered that fed into creating a plan, which was formalized at the end of Year 1. Implementation of the Women Creating Change plan occurred over the following two years. The project has led to the establishment of the Stepping Out Bursary to assist women earning at or below the “living wage” to access training to assist them to improve their economic opportunity. In addition, Status of Women Canada has funded a second project known as Mining and Refining for Women (MR4W) in which the Skills Centre is working with Teck Metals Ltd. and Bock and Associates to design and deliver a mentorship program to support the retention and advancement of women in non-traditional employment with Teck Metals Ltd. The results of MR4W have been exceptional. A report on poverty reduction indicators for the region was completed in the Fall of 2016, following by the Surviving to Thriving Summit: Creative Inclusive Communities which took place over 2 days in May, 2017 involving 70 participants representing a variety of stakeholder groups. Key elements or branches of a poverty reduction strategy have been identified and preliminary work on defining strategies and actions. The goal is to complete a poverty reduction plan for the region by Fall of 2017 and then seek funding from various sources to begin implementation.