Canfor's permanently closed Rustad sawmill could become training site for future workers, says British Columbia's jobs minister; Bell hopes to make formal announcement in Q1 next year

LOS ANGELES , December 12, 2011 () – British Columbia's jobs, tourism and innovation minister Pat Bell says consultations are in progress with Canfor to turn its Rustad sawmill into a training facility for future employees, according to a report by HQPrinceGeorge.com.

Canfor announced the permanent closure of its shuttered Rustad sawmill in Prince George on Dec. 5, along with its Tackama Mill in Fort Nelson. The Rustad mill had been idle for two-and-a-half years.

Bell said his department was working with a private sector partner and a public institution, and hoped to be in a position to formally announce plans for the site in the first quarter of 2012.

United Steelworkers spokesman and Prince George Councilor Frank Everitt said the union fully supports anything that will help to train existing and future workers. He said assistance in getting the required trades would be an asset to the forest and mining industries, as well as to union members.

If an agreement can be reached for the Rustad site, it will become the first training facility of its kind in the province.

The primary source of this article is HQPrinceGeroge.com, Prince George, British Columbia, on Dec. 9, 2011.

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