A local initiatve looking to fill thousands of job openings in the Kootenays over the next few years is on its way.

By 2020, the Kootenays are projected to have roughly 18,000 job vacancies through age-related attrition as well as an increase of 4,700 new jobs.

In order to prepare young, potential employees for this influx of career opportunities, the Kootenay Workforce Development initiative is being launched.

This program will offer training and skill upgrades specific to regional employment.

Project coordinator, Carol Currie, explains where the job openings will be coming from.

This initiative will be led by representitives from school districts, Columbia Basin Trust, and various community and government sectors.