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Province, feds boost Pine Falls training school

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WINNIPEG - The federal and provincial governments are pouring money into a trades training school in Pine Falls, a community that’s been hard hit by a lockout at its paper mill.

The Winnipeg River Learning Centre will receive $2.7 million from Ottawa and $600,000 from the province to retrofit and upgrade its facilities and develop new training programs.

"Over the next two years, this will be used to develop curriculum, to purchase training equipment and provide programming to upscale and rescale the workforce," provincial Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade Minister Peter Bjornson said in an interview.

Employees at Tembec’s Pine Falls paper mill have been locked out for more than three months. The company has announced its intention to sell the business, which it says it will mothball if a buyer cannot be found.

Bjornson said the trades school upgrade is not targeting Tembec employees per se. New programs contemplated for the learning centre include training for electricians and licensed practical nurses, he said.

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