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May 13, 2004 2:44 PM

Unique New Program to Combine Diploma, Apprenticeship

In September 2004, Conestoga College will offer a unique program called Mechanical Technician Diploma/Apprenticeship Co-op at the Doon campus in Kitchener.

Successful completion of the program will result in the granting of a Conestoga Diploma plus a College Certificate of Apprenticeship in one of three specializations: Tool and Die Maker/Toolmaker, Machine Tool Builder Integrator or General Machinist. Graduates will then be eligible to write an exam to earn a Certificate of Qualification in the appropriate trade when they have completed the necessary on-the-job training requirements.

The program will have three main sections. The first is three 15-week semesters of study at Conestoga. The second is a 56-week period for completion of a paid co-op apprenticeship on the job in industry. The third is a 20-week semester at Conestoga.

The expectation is that students will complete the entire program in two and one-half years, although there will be supplemental instructional requirements in the Machine Tool Builder Integrator trade.

Application for admission is to the College, but selection of candidates and arrangement of the co-op apprenticeships will be done by a consortium composed of representatives from industry and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, and facilitated by the College.

Students in this program are registered as apprentices to the consortium as of their very first day of participation.

The program is a unique opportunity for high school graduates to gain dual credentials, in-depth technical knowledge, valuable on-the-job experience and excellent employment immediately upon graduation in well-paid positions. Also, the program eliminates the need for prospective apprentices to locate a sponsoring employer in advance of beginning studies.

Many major local employers have endorsed this program, including Linamar Corporation, ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc., Babcock & Wilcox Canada and BES Tool & Die Ltd.

At this time the College is seeking both applicants and potential co-op employers.

Potential applicants should contact the Admissions Office for details. Call 519-748-5220, ext. 3656 or e-mail askme@conestogac.on.ca. Potential co-op apprenticeship employers can contact Hans Zawada, Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship, at 519-824-9390, ext. 151 or 519-748-5220, ext. 3370.

CONTACT: Greg White, 519-748-5220, ext. 3831, gwhite@conestogac.on.ca; Hans Zawada, 519-824-9390, ext. 151, hzawada@conestogac.on.ca

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