Conestoga news

March 8, 2007 3:11 PM

Skilled trades recognized

Printed in the The Record, Kitchener, Ontario, March 7, 2007

An engineering technology professor at Conestoga College and a manager of apprenticeship at ATS Automation Tooling Systems are among the winners of Klaus Woerner Skilled Trades Hall of Fame Awards.

The awards, which recognize efforts to advance skilled trades and technologies, were presented by the Ontario division of Skills Canada at a fundraising dinner in Kitchener last night.

Jim Gerrard, a professor at Conestoga since 1993, won in the Driven to Succeed category. Gerrard is a professor in both the Architecture-construction engineering program and civil engineering programs.

He has been an active volunteer with Skills Canada and is regarded as an excellent instructor, the selection committee said.

Jack Slothouber, manager of apprenticeships and lean manufacturing at ATS, won in the Ticketed Excellence category. He was instrumental in starting a high school co-op program at the Cambridge-based company, said the committee.

Thirty per cent of the firm's apprentices come from the program, it said.

Rod Eastman, team leader of trades training and apprenticeship at Dofasco Inc. in Hamilton, and Volker Thomsen, president of St. Lawrence College in Kingston, also received awards.

The awards are named for Klaus Woerner, the late founder of ATS. Woerner, a tool and die maker by trade, was a big supporter of skilled trades and apprenticeships.

Mac Voisin, founder and chair of M&M Meats, spoke at the dinner.

Proceeds from the event will help cover the cost of sending student winners in the Skills Canada competition in Ontario to the Canadian Skills Competition, taking place in Saskatoon in June.

Skills Canada is a not for profit organization that promotes careers in skilled trades and technologies to Canadian young people.