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Economic downturn forces program cuts at Keyano College prep courses dropped in favour of career-ready mobile training Tuesday June 30 2015 15 EDUCATION COLLEGE building your community workforceAre you looking for ways to bring training opportunities for older workers into your community Do you need funding for projects that provide training to individuals between the ages of 55 and 64 ECE can help. The Targeted Initiative for Older Workers Program provides assistance to organizations working with older individuals who want to improve their chances of getting or keeping a job. We are looking for projects that provide group-based programming for older workers. These projects will ensure that individuals between the ages of 55 and 64 can gain the skills they need to successfully compete for jobs and continue to contribute to the economic growth of their communities. Contact us today to talk about your project ideas and to receive the preliminary project proposal application form. Applications submitted before July 1 2015 are given priority. For more details contact Lesleigh Grice Coordinator Career Development Training phone 867-920-3391 email students placed into specic apprenticeships. First the students spend a semester getting their GED and then in the fall semester enter their rst period of the apprenticeship. Currently the Fort Chipewyan campus is fa- cilitating this program for welding students. This course is carried out on a demand basis so long as funding from the school and the community is available. Keyano also announced last week it would be deploying four new mobile learning sta- tions for heavy equipment operator training to be rolled out this fall. Were going to be using simulators with a mobile lab. In the winter well be able to take it on the road to Fort Chip Koch said. We can take our lab with these high tech- nology simulators and just park it in Janvier or park it in Gregoire Lake or wherever and train people for real jobs. Upgrades available online Forthosewhoonlywantacademicupgrades Keyano provides online courses and synchro- nous distance education where the teacher broadcasts their lesson over video to students across the satellite learning centres. Online learning doesnt suit all learning types but its what we have right now and were working with our instructors on ways wecanmakethismoreinteractiveKochsaid. I think some of it is a fear and so we need to work with students to get them over the fear. I think the secret is to create a learning com- munity and when people can plug in to a com- munity online I think this can work. The college is also set to kick off a new non- creditlearninginitiativethatwillseefamilylit- eracycoordinatorsinstalledintownsthrough- out the Wood Buffalo region starting this fall. For people who dont have the literacy that they might like it can be rather daunting to thinkaboutgoingbackKochsaid.Thisisnon- credittheresnoexams.Itsjustaboutbuilding your own skills. I think itll have an impact on parenting because itll give people the oppor- tunity to look at reading with your children and encouraging activities around numeracy. By DALI CARMICHAEL A dramatic drop in oil prices has forced Keyano College to cut staff and programming but the schools facilitators are optimistic that new career ready education initiatives will make up for those losses. The drop-off in Albertas oil and gas sec- tor that started late last year has impacted Keyano Colleges ability to generate revenues from industry-related services according to the schools ofcials. The Fort McMurray-based institute which also has satellite campuses through- out northern Alberta announced at the beginning of June that staff members and programs would be affected by the recent cuts. We have been severely impacted by the downturn in the energy sector said Keya- nos vice president academic Catherine Koch. We needed to make cutbacks. Student tuition and government grants are Keyanos main revenue generators in addition to running a host of corporate training programs and industry safety certification tests for employees working in the trades. Theres been a drop-off in workers com- ing into the region and in the expansion of the oilsands in general Koch said. Theres been such a cutback in activity theres not as many people coming in to do the testing and of course the big companies and small and medium-sized have all been impacted and so their training budgets are down and theres not as many people doing the testing and things like that because there just isnt the volume of work. The impact on the schools revenues is in the millions according to Koch. As a result 18 teachers have been laid off including two resident teachers in Fort Chipewyan one in Conklin and several teachers who regularly rotated through the schools learning centres. Six programs have been nixed entirely from Keyanos program calendar while another six are under re- view being restructured or will be available upon demand. Focus shifts to job-readiness Several academic upgrading courses were cancelled as a result of the cuts. Those types of programs are often sought out in more re- mote communities though over the last two to three years the school recorded dropping enrollment rates in those streams. Following the trend the school has decided to shift its educational philosophy. Were really trying to focus more on things that help people get jobs instead of just think- ing and upgrading for a number of years Koch said. Were changing some of our pro- gramming so that we can focus more - not on academic upgrading - but on job-ready skills for the people in these communities. Targeted education opportunities are the new norm. Earlier this year trainers were sent to Fort Chipewyan to teach a new gen- eration of health care workers. This allowed the students to get hands-on experience with- out leaving their community while provid- ing extended care services to the local health care facility. Another initiative starts out with academic- upgrading with the eventual goal of getting Fort Smith pilot acquitted of sexual assault charges By DALI CARMICHAEL A Fort Smith pilot facing a charge of sex- ual assault has been acquitted in territo- rial court. Charges against Alejandro Cabeza Cepero were dropped in the Yellowknife courthouse on June 19 following a trial that had previ- ously taken place in Fort Smith. After hearing witness testimonies through- out the rst week of May presiding Justice Garth E. Malakoe requested to push the de- cision in order to give himself time to delib- erate the facts of the case. At the nal hearing Justice Malakoe gave a thorough oral review of the case before stat- ing his decision that the Crown had not pro- vided evidence to prove without a reasonable doubt that Cepero was guilty. Cepero was originally charged with one count of sexual assault following an alleged incident that took place last August to which he pleaded not guilty. The alleged event occurred after a night of drinking with a group of friends both at the local bar in Fort Smith and at several residences. At the trial the Crown argued the defen- dant should have been found guilty based on the corroboration of facts testied to by various witnesses as well as the candid tes- timony of the complainant. The defence argued honest mistaken be- lief in consent noting that alcohol and ear- lier interactions throughout the evening led their client to believe the situation was con- sensual claiming the intent for the crime was not proven. The defence also argued the complainants testimony was not corroborated as multiple witnesses - including the defendant and the complainant - testied to having gaps in their memories. The Crown has been given 60 days to de- cide whether or not to le an appeal. JUSTICE SEXUAL ASSAULT PhotoSeanMcLennanKeyanoCollege Federal and provincial leaders test out new mobile training simulator units for the heavy equipment operator program at Keyano Colleges Fort McMurray campus on June 25.