15 SD20 kids receive $1,000 scholarships through innovative trades program

Rossland Telegraph
By Rossland Telegraph
April 28th, 2011

 The Trades have long been an important piece of the West Kootenay’s economic backbone and this week, as part of the Secondary School Apprenticeship (SSA) program offered by School District 20, 15 deserving students were rewarded for their efforts with one thousand dollar scholarships.

Designed as a transition program to ease and accelerate the move from high school into the working world the SSA program provides students a unique opportunity to begin an apprenticeship program in the trades while still in high school.

“SSA provides a smoother transition from school to work, as well as a quicker route to certification in a trade and to the earning power that goes with it!” commented Murray McConnachie, the program coordinator.

It all starts with students that show an interest in a career in the trades. Any student in grade 10, 11 or 12 can sign up however it is recommended primarily for grade 10 and 11 students so the work portion can be accomplished prior to graduation. Students are responsible for deciding which trade they want to apprentice in and then finding an employer to work with to complete the program. Everything ranging from mechanics to hairdressers to drywallers to chefs is in play an students has sought out a wide variety of opportunities through the program.

Working under the supervision of a Certified tradesperson, students log 1000 hours of work experience. Through the program students earn four graduating course credits, hours towards their apprenticeship as well as four graduating high school credits. This year 15 students completed the program, achieving the required 70% average as well as receiving a recommendation by their trades counsellor. All fifteen will receive the $1,000 scholarship.

From JL Crowe and Rossland Secondary Braeden McPhee, Brodie Evans, Domique Germaine- Thorne, and Will Bain are all working through their second year apprenticeship as carpenters after passing the first year certification exam while attending the JL Crowe Carpenters Training Program. Jesse Rypien and David Pederson are also working towards the second year carpenter designation. Tyler Dixon and Rhys Pearson completed the 1000 hours to qualify for the award working as automotive and heavy duty mechanics, while Dylan Lenarduzzi completed the first year of the Tireman apprenticeship.

Stanley Humphries students John Alton, Desiree Arnold and John Alton are currently working towards their career as chefs. Craig Verigin of Slocan Valley is pursuing his career as an apprentice carpenter, and Kal Honeyman of Castlegar is in Vancouver working towards completing his Tile Setters certification.

Moving forward, the Secondary School apprenticeship program will continue to transition local students from high school straight into the working world, trained and ready to work in the trades thanks to the continuation of the program in SD20’s budget passed this week.

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