Provincial COVID funding will allow the Invasive Species Council of BC to hire an additional 200 people.
The staff will work to identify, report and manage invasive species across BC, thanks to $8 million in funding from the BC economic recovery plan, StrongerBC, to support jobs and help communities cope with the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re pleased the Province has chosen to partner with us on this effort to create jobs and support detection and removal of invasive species,” said Gail Wallin, executive director of the Invasive Species Council of BC (ISBC).
“We have a wealth of experience in delivering large-scale employment-based programming, and a strong network across B.C. working collaboratively with governments, Indigenous organizations, industry, provincial and regional non-profit organizations and others to reduce impacts of invasive species to the economy, environment and communities.”
ISCBC has decades-long history of working on province-wide employment programs and has provided training and work experience that helps bridge people to steady employment.
The funding is part of $12 million the Province has allocated for expanded training and outreach opportunities, and to collaborate with land managers, local governments, Indigenous communities and others to detect and remove invasive species throughout B.C. over the next 15 months.
A total of $8 million is directed to ISCBC for province-wide hiring.
“We are thankful for the government’s confidence in our ability to train and activate people to protect B.C.’s habitats,” said Invasive Species Council of BC chair David Bennett.
“We’re excited to have these much-needed training opportunities and new jobs for people in our challenging times. Developing new jobs that will help protect our environment from invasive species will greatly benefit Indigenous and rural communities throughout the province.”
The BC Economic Revocery Plan prioritizes new job opportunities for unemployed or underemployed workers. The program has a specific focus on hiring displaced agriculture, tourism and forestry workers, Indigenous peoples, youth, women, and other COVID-19 affected workers throughout BC.
Thanks to this investment, ISCBC will provide much needed jobs to support invasive species job opportunities throughout the province, from entry level to skilled roles. The jobs will include training and transferrable skill development to support increased invasive species outreach, reporting and behavior change initiatives and on-the-ground management of invasive species on provincial public land and waters, as well as Reserve and local government lands where authorized.
ISCBC will begin hiring for this program immediately and through the duration of the program. Positions will be posted at bcinvasives.ca, on ISCBC’s social media channels and through ISCBC’s newsletter.