A group of enthusiastic graduates gathered at Cottonwood Park the other day. But these weren’t your average graduates.
The students were all over fifty and graduating from a program offered at the local College of New Caledonia (CNC) campus designed to target older workers to help them upgrade their skills.
The 12-week program gave the students up-to-date workplace literacy skills and included a broad range of courses with broad applications.
The graduates at the ceremony were enjoying some drumming and dancing courtesy of family and friends of the grads, and were all eager to share their positive experiences and what they learned through the training.
“The most amazing part was 12 strangers came together and within one hour became a team,” said Jeane Menz.
Elsie Prince said she “learned a lot a lot a lot” through the different courses they received.
The program gave the students courses on a large number of subjects, including basic computers, management skills for supervisors, conflict resolution training, first aid, interview and resume-writing skills, project management and bookkeeping, and public speaking.
“It gave them more self-esteem, more self-confidence,” said Menz.
One student gave CNC the credit for the positive outcomes from the program.
The course “brought First Nations and the white people together and (CNC is) an awesome group,” said Barry Duncan.
The program was originally funded by the federal government due to the downturn in forestry and the economy, and is targeted specifically at workers over 50.
Eighty-four students have graduated from the program since 2009 and the program will run again starting in September.