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February 7, 2008 2:32 PM

Trades and Technology Days Set at Conestoga

Local Grade 7-8 students link up with technology at three campuses.

Employers, our economy and our society need technical skills now and in the future.

Both the federal and the provincial governments are devoting more time, attention and funding to the importance of technical education for students in middle and secondary schools, to enhancing and expanding apprenticeship opportunities, and to promoting technical studies and careers as a key component of future prosperity and productivity. Activities such as the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) and the Ontario Technological Skills Competition sponsored by Skills Canada- Ontario every spring in Waterloo help attract young people into the challenging and rewarding field of skilled trades and technology-based careers.

To present the benefits of technical education and careers to local Grade 7 and 8 students, Conestoga College will be the site for events sponsored by the four local school boards. These events, known as Trades and Technology Days, take place on Tuesday, February 12 at the campus in Guelph, Thursday, February 14 at the campus in Waterloo and Tuesday, February 26 at the Doon campus in Kitchener.

Each half-day session will provide participating students and teachers (who have registered to attend through their home schools) with the opportunity to meet with Conestoga faculty in specific technical career areas, ask questions, gain valuable information and engage in some hands-on activities in workshop/lab settings. About 250 students are expected for each of the half-day sessions at Doon; about 100 for each at Guelph and about 80 for each at Waterloo.

The Doon activities are in fields as varied as computer programming, civil engineering and mechanical engineering technology, wood products manufacturing, electronics, software engineering, teletronics and even nursing. The Guelph activities look at areas such as welding engineering, automotive technology, truck and coach technician, industrial mechanics, and standard and computerized precision machining. At Waterloo, areas such as welding, plumbing, electrical skills and culinary arts will be explored.

Each session begins with a general information meeting. Participants then move to workshops in their areas of interest for a deeper look at technical careers and programs. The morning sessions go from 9:30-11:30 a.m., while the schedule for the afternoon groups is 12 noon-2 p.m.

One of Conestoga’s main aims is to forge stronger links with local school boards in the interest of developing better pathways for young people to understand, consider and select technical studies as a first step towards rewarding and productive careers that offer excellent growth and advancement potential.

CONTACT: Jo-Ann McCabe, Waterloo Catholic District School Board, 519-578-3660, Jo-Ann.McCabe@wcdsb.ca

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