Conestoga news

June 10, 2024 7:28 AM

Donors and local industry direct nearly $500,000 to student trades awards

Conestoga’s School of Trades & Apprenticeship hosted its annual awards ceremony on June 6, presenting hundreds of student awards valued at $484,000.

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Conestoga’s School of Trades & Apprenticeship hosted its 15th annual awards ceremony on June 6.

This year marked the 15th annual awards ceremony which was held at the Conestoga Skilled Trades Campus in Cambridge. More than 270 awards, including 10 new ones, were donated by 62 donors for the 2024-2025 academic year including three multi-year scholarships from the Canerector Foundation, Magna and the Schulich Foundation.

Since the inception of the awards ceremony in 2010, nearly $3 million has been donated by private individuals and local businesses to recognize outstanding student achievement in the motive power, construction and industrial trades.

“This event has become one of the largest awards ceremonies we have here at the college and we are grateful for the support of our donors and industry partners,” said Conestoga President John Tibbits. “Given the labour shortages we are seeing in the skilled trades, support of student success has become more important than ever.”

Reports indicate more than 700,000 skilled tradespeople are set to retire by 2028. This pending retirement wave makes it critical to attract and train new talent to ensure we meet future workforce needs.

To help address Ontario’s skilled labour shortage, Conestoga opened the first phase of the Conestoga Skilled Trades Campus on Reuter Drive in 2022. The 322,000 sq ft building includes more than 150,000 sq ft of shops and labs, designed and equipped to meet the unique requirements of trades education and training.

Phase 2 of the project began in 2023 and is expected to welcome students in September 2026. When finished, the campus will serve as home to most of the college's skilled trades programs and help position Conestoga as Canada's premier destination for skilled trades education and training.

The new building will be 220,000 sq. ft. and home to a variety of trades in a purpose-designed space.

Conestoga is a provincial leader in the delivery of skilled trades and apprenticeship training to serve industry needs and the growing community. Comprehensive programming includes a wide range of programs that provide pathways to employment in trades careers as well as pre-apprenticeship training and in-school training for apprentices.