Clarence Martin.

Clarence Martin.

Prince Rupert Aboriginal training centre chair discusses progress

The Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association (PGNAETA) opened up a location in Prince Rupert this summer in mid-June, and the man running it says that the program is already getting good results after only two months

The Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association (PGNAETA) opened up a location in Prince Rupert this summer in mid-June, and the man running it says that the program is already getting good results after only two months

The PGNAETA is a organization based in Prince George whose mission it is to help Aboriginal people who might be unemployed or underemployed to find full-time gainful employment. The organization does this by helping clients realize what their career goals are and making referrals to

training or licensing programs, classes, or work-placements. They also can spend government funds to assist the client to afford the training and sometimes to help the employer pay their client’s wages.

Clarence Martin is the man running the program in Prince Rupert. He used to be the president of the Skeena Native Development Society  for eight years before it was shutdown by the Federal Government. The feds took the funding and mandate of the old organization and contracted on a trial-basis to the PGNAETA instead, now Martin works with them.

“I’ve been hired for a period of six months until the Federal Government makes a decision on who they’re going to award that big contract to . . .I’m really enjoying it, and the clients here in Prince Rupert are enjoying it because it’s easy-access now. Before, they had to go to Terrace to do the paperwork,” says Martin.

Since Martin opened his little PGNAETA satellite-office at the Northwest Community College campus, the response just by word-of-mouth was so overwhelming that he had to hire an assistant from the community to keep up with all the administrative work.

Martin points out that his program is not trying to compete with other organizations that do similar work such as the Hecate Strait or Edge  employment centres.

“We’re working with those groups, their First Nation’s economic development programs or their post-secondary programs,” says Martin.

The organizations promotional material says that clients should be Aboriginal people who are “willing to live a role model lifestyle,” not only just for their family, but for the whole community.

“One of my clients came in here, and she had secretarial experience and that’s all she had. She told me that she wanted to be a role model to her family, like her son, who’s about 21. She wanted to change her lifestyle, and to me, I want to see her achieve that role model lifestyle,” says Martin.

Martin says that one of the reasons that so many Aboriginal people seem to fall into a rut where they don’t have a steady job or are working one that they aren’t happy with, is because they don’t have any clear career path or goal. He says that some people just take whatever job they find or a government cheque and never try anything else.

“Another part of it is life-skills training. Some of the people who come over here have lived in the villages for most of their lives, and they come to Prince Rupert,” said Martin.

“We have to let them know that this is what is required  to work in offices or working at the port for example. You have to change your lifestyle, you have to be on time and such. And another thing we have to warn them of is not to fall through the cracks.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Staff at Acropolis Manor, a Prince Rupert long-term health care facility in April 2020 where no cases of COVID-19 were reported until an outbreak on Jan. 19, 2021. As of Jan. 25th, 32 people associated with the residence have tested positive for the virus. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Staff at Acropolis Manor a Prince Rupert long term health care facility, take pride in their work place that no COVID-19 cases have been reported in the facility during the pandemic.This photo taken, April 20, from outside, looking through a window shows staff adhering to strict protocols and best practices to keep residents happy and healthy. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
COVID-19 numbers increase at Acropolis Manor – 32 infected

Prince Rupert man concerned about temp. staff from out of region working at long-term care facility

Ken Veldman vice president, public affairs and sustainability, at Prince Port Port Authority on Jan. 21 addressed local employers in an online presentation about a new community recruitment program to attract employees to Prince Rupert. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
New recruitment campaign to be launched in Prince Rupert

Web platform will use community collaboration to attract new employees to Prince Rupert

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
Canadians divided over Keystone pipeline, despite U.S. president’s permit pullback

Two-thirds of Canadians think Biden’s decision was a “bad thing” for Alberta

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
5 big lessons experts say Canada should learn from COVID-19

‘What should be done to reduce the harms the next time a virus arises?’ Disease control experts answer

A Vancouver Police Department patch is seen on an officer’s uniform as she makes a phone call. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver man calls 911 to report his own stabbing, leading to arrest: police

Officers located the suspect a few blocks away. He was holding a bloody knife.

Most Read