Unemployed Columbia Valley residents between the ages of 55 and 64 who want to re-enter the workforce can now receive training at the College of the Rockies’ (COTR) Invermere campus to do exactly that.

Starting in November, COTR Invermere is offering a 14-week program that will provide targeted training to older workers. The program will comprise of 10 weeks of instruction in areas such as computers, business communication, workplace skills and job-search strategies, followed by a four-week job placement.

The start date is set for November 13 with applications due by Friday, November 2

The added bonus is that participants will be paid for their time. Throughout the 10-week program, participants will receive an allowance of $12 per hour for 25 hours per week that is paid out every two weeks.

For the last four weeks of the program, participants have a choice. If, for the job-placement part of the program, they go to work for an employer, COTR will fund 50 per cent of their wage up to a maximum of $8 per hour for a minimum of 30 and a maximum of 40 hours per week. If they decided on self employment rather than working for someone and go the route of the mentoring or job search program, their weekly allowance of $12 per hour for 25 hours per week will continue.

The training program is made possible by $840,000 worth of funding by the B.C. and Canadian governments through the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers. Starting in October, six sessions will be held throughout the East Kootenay. Currently, about one quarter of the East Kootenay’s population is in the 55 to 64 age bracket.

For more information on the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers Program, contact the Invermere COTR campus at 250-342-3210 ext. 3752 or email [email protected].