Conestoga news

October 17, 2008 4:41 PM

Interview with Fred Svacina, Ontario Skills Development Program


After 30 years of being a Tool & Die tradesman, Fred Svacina hit some road blocks on his career path and found himself unemployed and searching for a new job. While speaking with various employers on his job search, Fred recognized that there was a high demand for workers with Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Programming skills. Having been presented with various options through Northern Lights Canada and hearing about the Ontario Skills Development Program, Fred decided that going back to school through the Ontario Skills Development Program was his most promising option. He met with a career counsellor at Conestoga’s Career Centre who helped him to compile information on various programs of interest and assisted him through the application process. Choosing Conestoga College to go back to school just made sense to Fred. He did his Tool & Die apprenticeship with Conestoga 30 years ago and had taken various courses through the years at the college as well.

At first Fred was apprehensive to go back to school again, "but once I wrote my first test and did well on it, I felt encouraged." Now in the midst of his program, Fred praises his instructor, Peter Smid, for his experience and knowledge in the field of CNC Programming. "You can't get a better quality instructor in my opinion." Upon completion of his program, Fred hopes to find a job where he can combine his tool and die background with his new programming knowledge.

Some advice he gives to other individuals going through a similar experience that he did: "don’t be afraid of the unknown, take one day at a time, have a positive attitude and take a hold of opportunities when they are presented to you."

Written By Jessica Voin.