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October 20, 2011 2:20 PM

Awards Program Recognizes Conestoga Partners

Two area companies with strong ties to Conestoga were among the four recipients of 2011 Minister’s Awards for Apprenticeship Training announced recently. The annual awards program through Ontario’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU), recognizes exceptional employers for their commitment to apprenticeship training.

Among the recipients of this year’s awards:

Flo Components Ltd has trained apprentices as Industrial Millwright Mechanics (IMM) since 2003. The Mississauga-based company, specializing in automatic greasing systems and a leading supplier to major manufacturers and truck and heavy equipment users in Ontario, has consistently taken an active role in the training of young apprentices. The company works closely with the Centre for Skills Development and Training in the GTA as well as with Conestoga to recruit candidates for apprenticeship opportunities.

The employer also works to promote the importance of trade qualification at shows, events and forums for schools, industry partners and the general public. Vice-president Mike Deckert, a graduate of the Industrial Millwright Mechanic apprenticeship program, chairs Conestoga’s IMM Program Advisory Committee, and has been instrumental in working with the college to ensure program relevance and quality as well as with industry to secure awards and scholarships for deserving students.

George and Asmussen Ltd. has a long history of training apprentice brick and stone masons. Also known as GA Masonry, the Breslau-based company, with locations in Ottawa and Calgary, is among North America’s largest masonry contractors. The company has been committed to the apprenticeship system in Ontario for more than 50 years.

The employer consistently provides outstanding support in the training of employees and worked with the Canadian Masonry Association on the development of learning resources for brick and stone mason apprentices across Canada. GA Masonry participates in both the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program and the dual credit apprenticeship programs sponsored through the School College Work Initiative.

The company was instrumental in the establishment of a partnership between Conestoga and the Ontario Masonry Contractors’ Association that resulted in a new masonry training facility at the college’s Waterloo campus. Mike George, owner and general superintendent of GA Masonry, is vice-chair of the Masonry Program Advisory Committee at Conestoga and was heavily involved in the development and curriculum review of the college’s Masonry Fundamentals program.

As recipients of the Minister’s Awards for Apprenticeship Training, the companies have been recognized with trophies to honour their exceptional contributions to Ontario’s apprenticeship system. Award winners were selected by a panel of apprenticeship experts from various sectors, including labour organizations, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and community colleges.

Also recognized among the top 16 finalists was BLM Transportation Group (BLM). This Kitchener company is a respected contributor to Ontario’s trucking industry and has been an active partner in apprenticeship training for more than 20 years.

BLM is heavily involved in employment and experiential programs through local secondary schools and a key supporter of Conestoga’s Truck and Coach Technician and Truck Trailer Service Technician programs. The company has been instrumental in the development and expansion of the motive power facilities at Conestoga’s Guelph campus, resulting in improved classroom productivity and enhanced learning experiences for apprentices.

Congratulations to these three outstanding partners who are working to make a difference for students, for the community, and for Ontario.

For more information on the Minister’s Awards for Apprenticeship Training, visit the MTCU website.

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