NorthWest Community College has decided to review training needs in Masset after meeting last week with several community representatives.
The community members were concerned about the college’s decision to shut down the Masset campus in May because there aren’t enough students at the north end of the islands. At a meeting with NWCC vice-principal of education Beth Davis, islanders came up with several ideas about how the college could work with the community to offer programs, said Old Massett social development worker Susan Williams.
“There is not a lack of interest here,” Ms Williams said. “We would bend over backwards to help the college stay.”
As an indication of that interest, more than 30 people showed up to a meeting in Old Massett the next day to discuss a one-year social services worker certificate program, she said.
Community Futures general manager Art Lew said the area’s educational needs are unique, and need special attention from the college. The old way of setting up an office and hoping that people will come and register for programs just won’t work here, he said.
Community Futures has identified a whole series of courses that people are interested in taking and that the college could be offering, Mr. Lew said.
“We on the islands need to be working in a strong partnership with the college,” he added. “We can’t do it by ourselves, and the college can’t do it by itself.”
Ms Davis said that as a result of the meeting, she has agreed to seek funding for a training needs assessment for the north end of the islands. And although the Masset office will be closing, NWCC still wants to be active in the community, and will still provide education and training.
“It was a very encouraging meeting,” she said. “We really got a strong sense from community leaders that our presence is valued.”
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