Christina Doll // City of PG
O’Brien Training has been providing heavy equipment operation training in Northern BC from its home base in Prince George since 2009. Dan O’Brien was born and raised in Prince George, and after being asked to provide training in his modern logging methods while doing work for Canfor on Vancouver Island, he decided to open a training centre in his hometown.
The instructional team is highly educated in modern forestry and heavy construction teaching methods, offering training on state-of-the-art simulators with an emphasis on hands-on learning. “A gravel pit is a natural fit for heavy construction equipment training, so we made arrangements to operate at an active gravel mining site just outside of PG. For forestry equipment training, we operate on one of our live logging sites. There’s just no way a practice site can provide the conditions and challenges needed to train a highly employable operator. Or, as we like to say: You can’t pretend to log a block.”
Established relationships with organizations that provide funding for adult heavy equipment training enable O’Brien Training to offer a range of programming for youth and adults. They also have strong relationships with Indigenous organizations, individual bands and community organizations such as the Native Friendship Centre. They work with them to create projects that deliver the best training value and community benefit for every funding dollar.
Being located in Prince George has been a positive experience for O’Brien Training. The city is the regional hub for Northern BC where there is a large amount of resource-based activity and plenty of people who need training to work on major projects. This, their strong connections with the local business community, and their use of modern machinery, technology, and teaching methods have enabled O’Brien Training to match students to well-paying jobs in mechanized logging and heavy construction in Prince George and Northern BC.
O’Brien Training expects to see continued interest in its training offerings due to a resurgence of lumber demand over the past year, which has generated a huge need for heavy equipment operators. For more information about training options offered by O’Brien Training, visit their website.
About the author: Christina worked first as a radio journalist and then a public relations specialist in her hometown of Prince George for almost a decade before transitioning into her current role of Workforce Development Officer in the Economic Development Division at the City of Prince George. She has public and private sector experience in economic development, external and internal communications, marketing, social media and website management, event planning, and research. She has a passion for storytelling and for providing support to local businesses to help them grow and thrive.