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Plan to increase Aboriginal employment in Grande Prairie gets boost from feds

A plan to address some of the barriers Aboriginal people in Grande Prairie are facing when it comes to getting work has received a $100,000 installment from the federal government.

Grande Prairie Friendship Centre Executive Director Kelly Benning says the first two stages helped them identify issues, and the third is aimed at addressing them.

“There’s a lot of people that have dreams and ambitions, and it’s helping to get those people on the right path and working with industry to make sure that we can get it done in a more timely matter. Hopefully the community planning will be looking at solutions.”

Among the barriers they’ve found are access and transportation, like getting to a work site, as well as education.

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Benning says that applies both to finishing high school and getting post-secondary credits.

“A lot of people that relocate here to go to school require a lot of upgrading first, and some people that have been in the workforce for a considerable amount of time need support in getting back into upgrading and getting those credentials that they now require.”

The strategic plan will bring together local governments, Aboriginal organizations, and the private and non-private sectors with a report due in March.

Benning hopes to see better training programs and more support as a result.

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