DEASE LAKE, B.C. – The Tahltan Nation Development Corporation (TNDC) in British Columbia’s northern interior has announced its Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) program has received a $600,000 grant from TD Bank Group.

Tahltan Territory includes 70 per cent of B.C.’s Golden Triangle, an area containing a “world class mining jurisdiction with a thriving mineral exploration sector,” a TNDC release said.

“Through this grant, TNDC’s HEO program will be able to expand its reach and impact into years two and three of the program, enabling TNDC to provide vital educational support to a larger number of deserving individuals, unlocking their potential and opening doors to brighter futures,” said TNDC chair Carol Danielson.

The HEO program, which includes drivers license support and HEO mentorship and development combines training in Tahltan Territory with on-the-job work experience. The program has completed its inaugural one-year pilot and will move forward with an expanded program framework with the $600,000 grant broken into $300,000 to cover year two and year three of the program.

“At TD, we want to help prepare people for the jobs of tomorrow by investing in organizations that offer skills training geared towards improving income stability. We recognize the positive impact and value that programs like the Tahltan HEO Program can bring to communities and local economies. That’s why through the TD Ready Commitment, we’re proud to support this initiative aimed at helping address skill shortages in the territory while also providing hands-on work experiences for participants,” TD Bank Group Indigenous banking vice-president Doris Bear said.

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