More than 40 young women in grades 7 and 8 participated in Conestoga’s TNT Day at the John W. Tibbits campus in Waterloo on March 6. Hosted in partnership this year with the School College Work Initiative, Freshco Retail Maintenance and The Holmes Foundation, TNT Days deliver hands-on activities related to different careers in the construction, industrial, motive power, engineering and architectural industries.
Young women in grades 7 and 8 participated in TNT Day on March 6 at the Waterloo campus. The event gives participants an opportunity to explore careers in trades and technology.
“The whole idea behind today is for us to give you some hands-on experience in the shops,” said Nadine Jannetta, liaison officer at Conestoga, as she welcomed students. “When we’re trying to figure out what we want to do and what career to choose, it’s usually based on the things we’ve done before. We want to give you the opportunity to try something new to see if you’re interested in it.”
Participating students were drawn from local school boards and worked in the college’s plumbing and carpentry shop settings. For the majority of the young women in attendance, it was their first time stepping into a workshop.
A second TNT Day was held at the Cambridge campus on March 7 where students participated in workshops related to electrical energy and architecture, and the final session will be held April 29 at Conestoga’s Guelph campus which will provide an introduction to the motive power trades.
TNT Days are one of the many initiatives Conestoga hosts throughout the year to introduce young women to programs in engineering, technology and the trades. The college also welcomes students for Jill of All Trades, Go ENG Girl and Go CODE Girl events.
“At your age it’s great to start thinking about what you want to do when you grow up,” said keynote speaker Jen Donovan. “I hope you came with a really open mind and get the chance to work on some tools. I think your goal for today should be to give it your all -- don’t be afraid.”
Donovan is a graduate of Conestoga’s Women in Skilled Trades program -- a tuition-free program funded by the provincial government to support women preparing for careers within the construction sector -- and is now employed with Freshco as a millwork shop technician. The full-service, reconstruction and retail maintenance provider serves Canada and the eastern United States with women making up 60 per cent of its employee base.
Conestoga is a provincial leader in the delivery of trades and apprenticeship training to serve industry needs and our growing community. Comprehensive programming includes a wide range of postsecondary trades programs that provide pathways to employment in skilled trades careers as well as pre-apprenticeship training and in-school training for apprentices.
Visit the School of Trades and Apprenticeship for more information.