Finance Minister & Grande Prairie—Wapiti MLA Travis Toews says changes in the education landscape, like those soon to take place at Grande Prairie Regional College, will create a lot of positive momentum in long-term economic growth and recovery.
Toews says the college, which will officially rebrand as Northwestern Polytechnic, to go along with its soon to be updated polytechnic status, could help provide the workforce to help build that growth over the coming years. He says the Peace Country isn’t alone, as provincially, there is high demand for labour with lower than average uptake.
“We are short on labor across this province, yet, we have a still relatively high unemployment rate,” he says. “In this region, as well, there is no doubt there are many employers looking to staff positions.”
Toews says one issue currently facing potential employers is what he calls a misalignment of skills and talent, and it’s something he believes changes like those coming to GPRC could help move the needle in a positive direction long term.
“For institutions like GPRC moving to a polytechnic and offering very practical programming, occupational programming, that’s going to be a key ingredient for folks in this region to enter the workforce to pursue a profession where they can provide well for themselves and move our economy forward,” he adds.
Earlier this week, GPRC President and CEO Justin Kohlman said the new chapter in the school’s history gives them the impetus to grow, not only as an institution but as an essential asset to the ever-changing job market.