Trail is KASTing an innovative arm to Nelson

Hiring soon: KAST’s Nelson Innovation Centre

The Nelson Innovation Centre is beige with a brown roof.

The new Nelson Innovation Centre is set to open in winter 2019. — Photo courtesy KAST

Nelson is about to become the next major player in the ever-expanding tech market. The success of Metal Tech Alley in Trail is now leading to further opportunities for other burgeoning communities looking to venture into the tech industry. Kootenay Association for Science and Technology (KAST) is facilitating this endeavour by expanding its operations from the MIDAS fabrication and training lab in Trail to the new Nelson Innovation Centre.

“With that project now on a sustainable path, we’re looking to assist other fab labs and innovation hubs across the Columbia Basin,” said Cam Whitehead, executive director for KAST. “The Nelson Innovation Centre was the next logical step for KAST as it is a mature, grassroots project that was ready to launch. It’s backed by a strong and growing tech and entrepreneurial community surrounding Nelson and it’s supported by many community groups and all levels of government.”

Cam Whitehead has a stubbly beard and short brown hair combed towards his right side.

Cam Whitehead is the executive director for KAST. He is looking forward to opening the new Nelson Innovation Centre this winter. — Photo courtesy KAST

The Nelson Innovation Centre will open fully this winter. Leading up to then, KAST has arranged for all-ages, inclusive technology workshops every Wednesday evening with the Nelson Tech Club, housed at the Nelson and District Youth Centre.

Jobs, jobs, jobs

As is the case with any new business opening its doors, there will be job openings. Tech and tech-enabled companies hire everyone from software developers to sales and marketing personnel to janitors.

“The great thing about tech is that no one cares about your credentials—they care about what you can do,” said Whitehead. “I encourage people in Nelson and the area to contact us to connect them with who is hiring and to get their job profile posted on our website so our members know who’s looking for work.

“KAST exists to create strong communities across the Columbia Basin using science and technology. We do this by supporting businesses to create high-paying jobs in the region and by supporting people to expand their skills to fill those jobs.” 

Kyle Born

Kyle Born is a writer for Kootenay Business and his initials match that of the magazine—it must be fate that brought them together. View all of Kyle Born’s articles

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