As companies look to fill mining and construction jobs in northern Ontario, Cambrian College's mobile trades trailer is in high demand.
The trailer, which unfolds into a classroom with 1,800 square feet of workspace, has been around since 2009 — but requests for its services have recently started to rise.
The associate dean at Cambrian said she gets calls weekly about the school's large mobile trailer that allows teachers to spend weeks in remote communities offering college programs.
Louise Turcotte said there was even a plan to send the trailer up to Webequie in northwestern Ontario this winter, but the ice road wasn't in good enough condition to hold the trailer, which weighs 56,000 pounds — when empty.
There is an increasing interest in the trades as communities prepare for the development of the northern Ontario chromite-rich mining area known as the Ring of Fire.
"The requests are off the clock right now," Turcotte said.
"So I have multiple groups that are in communication with me."
One group from Cochrane will bring the trailer and an instructor to teach a carpentry program in nearby Taykwa-Tagamou First Nation.
"The trades industry is high in demand because we know that there's a housing shortage, specifically in many of the First Nation communities," said Mary Jane Archibald, president of Apitisawin Employment and Training.
The main obstacle to renting the trailer is cost, she noted, which can run up to $10,000 thousand dollars a week.But Turcotte said most communities interested can get government funding.