Trade jobs will continue to be important in the future, and that is why Hecla has created programs and job site visits to educate students in middle and high school about mining careers and to help in their pursuit of higher education.
Our Pathways to Mining Careers program in Alaska educates and trains local high school students and adults new to mining for future employment in the mining industry. Since 2011, Hecla has donated more than $1 million toward supporting sustainable career development programs for the University of Alaska Southeast Center for Mining Training Center and the Pathways program. In 2019, we hired two graduates of the program.
We are also a leading partner of the Hecla-Québec Global Development Fund (UQAT Foundation) which, among other things, provides scholarships in support of work-life balance, return to school, perseverance and success-training programs. Since 2009, we have donated more than $1.7 million to the QUAT Foundation.
In 2019, Hecla Québec hired twelve graduates of the 20th cohort from the Mineral Extraction program at the James Bay Vocational Training Center. The program allows students to conduct part of their training at the Casa Berardi Mine.