The Hot Spots program was a highly successful two-year program (2008-2011) that jump-started business development and employment in over 30 different communities across BC in 2010. Over its two-year period, field crews delivered invasive plant management activities in more than 274 communities and Indian Reserves. Over 203 unemployed resource workers were hired, and many were able to secure long-term employment with the new skills they developed.
The Hot Spots program provided under/unemployed resource workers with education, techniques, and experience in invasive plant management. Under the skilled guidance of Regional Committees, crews targeted high priority sites. Crews helped to manage (control, remove or in some cases, contain) invasive plants that are troublesome, and costly to address. The program inventoried 20,500 ha and treated 1,538 ha in multiple locations across the province.
The Hot Spots program was guided by a Hot Spots Advisory Committee that included representatives from various agencies and committees across BC. Collaborations between the ISC, governments and Regional Committees helped to minimize the impacts of invasive plants while providing job skills and new employment opportunities for displaced resources workers across BC.
The program has been highly successful. Some unemployed resource workers were able to secure long-term employment with the new skills they developed. Participating agencies expanded their local partnerships, attained additional funds for invasive plant management, expanded their traditional inventory and treatment areas, and received increased media exposure.
The ISC thanks Western Economic Diversification and the Provincial Community Development Trust, Job Opportunities Program and the BC Ministry of Environment Parks and Protected Areas Division for funding this program. Also thank you for contributions from the BC Ministry of Natural Resource Operations, and the Technical Advisory Committee, directors, regional coordinators, and the ISC project coordinators for their hard work and dedication.