In 2008, Smithers Community Services Association received a $100,000 grant from Northern Development through the Economic Diversification Infrastructure program towards this $578,603 project. This has been a funding partnership of Smithers Community Services Association, Northern Development, All-West Glass, Bulkley Valley Credit Union, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Moricetown Band, Northern Engineered Wood Products Inc., Rick Hansen Foundation, and Steve Nash Foundation
2012- With financial support from Northern Development, local Smithers-based businesses, and a number of funding partners, a new community centre and value-added wood products manufacturing training facility has been developed in Moricetown. The centre provides skills training and meaningful work, particularly for youth in Moricetown, that are either in transition, facing employment challenges, or re-engaging with the workplace. The centre also focuses on enhancing local economic development and diversity through the manufacturing of specialty wood products and services for sale to industry and the general public.
The Moricetown Supported Work and Manufacturing Centre, operated by the Smithers Community Services Association, has been designed to specialize in the production of roofing strips and furring strips utilizing Mountain Pine Beetle affected timber. This timber is envisioned to be used in unique ways, creating new revenue streams for within the local and regional economy, and eventually taking advantage of new sales opportunities across North America and potentially exports to Asia.
The services offered in the centre are those of woodworking and general skills involved in renovating projects. These skills are taught with safety being the highest priority.
"The Moricetown Supported Work Centre will be a welcome addition to the community of Moricetown. We look forward to providing employment skills to those members who are physically and mentally challenged and currently are not eligible for programs that are offered by the Moricetown Band or Kyah Wiget Education Society. The community is very proud of the improvements to the Centennial Hall, a hall that was built by community volunteers in 1967."Lucy Gagnon, Manager, Moricetown Band
This centre provides job training and work placement services, a self-sustaining business model for its products and services, innovative uses for Mountain Pine Beetle affected timber products, as well as a model to establish similar centres at other reserves and rural communities.
The revenue generated from manufacturing activity and service delivery is envisioned to support educational programming and health/social services for the residents of the Bulkley Valley, as well as expanding the centre's social enterprise model locally and in other rural areas of the region. The skills gained by residents who take advantage of this facility will increase the possibility to being placed in a sustainable, full-time position within forest industry manufacturing companies.
The centre has become a venue for a number of unforeseen community projects, and it hosts a youth empowerment group. With the rich history in the area, it is also the perfect place for cultural skills training such as carving and smoking fish.