Conestoga news

November 23, 2022 10:33 AM

Industry partnership offers experiential learning opportunity

Conestoga's Welding and Fabrication Technician program has partnered with steel construction company Walters Group to offer students a unique paid experiential learning opportunity. 

Conestoga's Welding and Fabrication Technician program has partnered with Walters Group to offer students a unique paid experiential learning opportunity.

Beginning November, second-year students in the program will attend weekly onsite learning at Walters Group's facility in Princeton, Ontario, where they will have exposure to real-world projects. The program will include structured on-the-job training that meets elements of the Metal Fabricator - Fitter (374A) apprenticeship trade.

"As we expand and grow into new markets, taking on increasingly complex and exciting projects, we know we'll need top talent to help us get to where we want to go," said Natalia Strelbytsky, vice-president, People & Culture at Walters Group. "Our partnership with Conestoga will support our growth objectives by attracting college graduates to Walters, and it will positively contribute to our community by creating real-life work experiences and job opportunities for students and graduates of Conestoga College."

Ontario has an urgent need for more skilled trades professionals to support industry competitiveness and growth. According to industry estimates, the province will need more than 100,000 new skilled tradespeople within the next decade to replace a retiring workforce and support new developments in areas such as housing and transit to meet the demands of a growing population. 

"Conestoga's partnership with Walters Group helps supports the college's commitment to developing career-ready graduates with the skills necessary to meet workforce demands," said Tony Thoma, executive dean to Conestoga's Schools of Engineering & Technology and Trades & Apprenticeship. "Experiential learning creates valuable real-world experiences that connect students to industry and builds stronger communities."

Founded in 1956, Walters Group is a family-owned steel construction company that serves civil, commercial, and industrial projects throughout North America. The company's experts offer a full range of structural steel services, specializing in engineering, detailing, fabrication, delivery, and onsite installation to the construction industry. Through a network of companies, Walters provides products and services that complement the core business of structural steel. From industry-leading Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel (AESS) and high-end architecturally fabricated structures to the latest lightweight flooring technology.

Conestoga's two-year Welding and Fabrication Technician diploma program covers theoretical and practical learning outcomes for Level 1 and Level 2 of both the Medal Fabricator - Fitter (437A) and Welder (456A) apprenticeship programs in Ontario. Students develop high-demand skills through hands-on learning using modern equipment in a state-of-the-art facility.

For more information, read the full release.