Peace Region students triumph at Skills Canada provincial competition

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By , April 11, 2017

NPSS students Jeridyn Loewen, Nicholas Page, Zachary Paradis, and Zachary Glenn won a silver medal in Robotics at the Skills Canada BC provincial competition this week. Photo by Eric Palibroda

Thirty students from SD59 and SD60 participated in the Skills Canada provincial competition in Abbortsford, and came away with Gold in jr. gravity vehicle and public speaking, Silver in both Robotics and Automotive Service Technician, and a Bronze in cabinetmaking. For more details, check out Energetic City’s article here.

Skills Canada SD59 Promo

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By , February 20, 2015

A look at the regional Skills Canada competition in Dawson Creek BC, organized by SD59 and Northern Lights College.

Shell Canada contributes $14,000 for shop upgrades at DCSS as part of Project Shop Class

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By , December 12, 2014
Dawson Creek Mayor Dale Bumstead; MLA Peace River South Mike Bernier;  Shell Canada representative Bryant Bird; Trade Plus Consultant Matthew Stevenson, and Senior Project Manager BC Construction Association North, Gregg Drury visited DCSS Central campus on Friday, December 5th to present a cheque for $14,000 to shop teacher Glenn Roszmann.

Dawson Creek Mayor Dale Bumstead; MLA Peace River South Mike Bernier; Shell Canada representative Bryant Bird; Trade Plus Consultant Matthew Stevenson, and Senior Project Manager BC Construction Association North, Gregg Drury visited DCSS Central campus on Friday, December 5th to present a cheque for $14,000 to shop teacher Glenn Roszmann.

Project Shop Class is the inaugural fundraising campaign of the Construction Foundation of BC, which aims to encourage British Columbians to develop practical skills and to encourage students to pursue careers in the skilled trades. SD 59 high schools have received a total of $24,000 through this initiative to date.

Following the presentation grade 8 students attended information sessions about:

  • Ministry of Education Work Experience courses
  • Dual credit programs
  • Secondary School Apprenticeship program
  • STEP program
  • The university path
  • Skilled trades and technical careers in our region.

Northern Opportunities a Blueprint for Success

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By , May 15, 2014

From the Alaska Highway News:

Education in British Columbia could look significantly different in coming years, as the BC Jobs Blueprint refocuses training to meet the needs of industry – but many around here say the Peace Region is ahead of the pack.”…

Read the rest of the article here.

A Fair Trade

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By , May 5, 2014

Local journalist Elaine Anselmi interviewed SD69 students about the new Trades pilot project. Read the Alaska Highway news article here.

March CES Newsletter

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By , April 2, 2014

The Career Education Society March newsletter is now available! Find out about the conference, Skills competition, local news, and much more. CES_Newsletter_March 2014

Skilled Students

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By , February 28, 2014

Chef Michael French looks over Dawson Creek Secondary Student Tiffani Germain’s efforts in the Baking section of the Skills Competition. Photo by Elaine Anselmi

Northern Lights College hosted the local Skills competition. Elaine Anselmi from the  Alaska Highway News was on hand to document the event. Her full article can be found here.

 

Bennett Brings the Goods

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By , October 22, 2013

Journalist Matt Lamers wrote an article in the Dawson Creek Daily news about the BC Minister of Energy and Mines funding announcement:

Bennett brings the goods

Students Weigh their Options

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By , June 26, 2013
Paige Karcynski leads a tour of Grade 9 students from schools in the Fort St. John and Fort Nelson area around the new simulated well site training facility and drilling rig at Northern Lights College in Fort St. John during dual credit day. - photo by Gavin Crites

Paige Karcynski leads a tour of Grade 9 students from schools in the Fort St. John and Fort Nelson area around the new simulated well site training facility and drilling rig at Northern Lights College in Fort St. John during dual credit day. – photo by Gavin Crites

Students from around the area got a glimpse into their potential futures yesterday. Close to 200 Grade 9 students participated in tours and information sessions at the Northern Lights College’s Fort St. John campus, taking a look at trades and academic courses offered at the school as part of a dual credit program which allows students to earn high school and post-secondary credits simultaneously and enter the job market faster.
The tours were important to show students what kind of options they have for the future, said Paige Karczynski, workforce-training coordinator at the college.
“It gives them a hands-on point of view of what they’d be doing,” she said. “Many of them probably have parents who do this kind of work and hear the stories, but it helps them with the aspect of being there and seeing it and it peaks their interest a little bit. They’re still only in Grade 9, but at least it gives them options to get their courses lined up correctly.”
Reese Cowie of Bert Bowes Middle School attended a psychology and social work class, subjects she’d like to study in the future.
“It helps us decide what course we’re going to choose for our high school years and what we want to pursue later in life,” she said, adding the dual credit program is something she’ll definitely consider on her way to being a psychologist.
“I thought social work would be a little more interesting, but with psychology, I’m definitely going to try my hardest to do it,” Cowie said. “In my psychology class, (the instructor) demonstrated a few different memory tests and how we think when we’re trying to remember things. She would say a long list of digits then wait for a second then we would write it all out and nobody got it. It’s so cool to see what you remember.”
The tour of the drilling rig somewhat cemented Dr. Kearney Middle School Grade 9 student Wesley Babkirk’s plans as well.
“I liked learning and seeing what it’s like being on there,” Babkirk said, adding he can see himself working in that environment in the future.
“But then I want to further my education and be a millwright,” he added.
Asked if he felt he was in the right tour today, he responded, “Yea, I think I was. I think this is what I’ll definitely being doing here.”
Grade 9 student Jaedon Braun of Bert Bowes Middle School signed up to see the English and teaching courses.
“It was pretty cool,” he said. “We did a little bit of analyzing media and such. The teaching class seemed pretty interesting. I think I might want to be a teacher.”
He said the dual credit program is a good idea and something he’ll pursue once he gets to Grade 11 and Grade 12.
The program is something Karczynski, who led the students around the simulated well site training facility and drilling rig, said she wished was an option in schools where she grew up.
“This is something they didn’t offer in southern Ontario, but I wish they would have because this is an awesome opportunity,” she said.
Jeff Mayer works out of North Peace Secondary School as a work experience teacher for the school district’s careers program. He talked about the benefits of getting an early start on a career path, like completing apprentice hours while still in school and reaping the financial rewards of accredited workplace experience at an early age.
“This stuff sells itself,” Mayer said. “It just provides opportunities for kids.”
Mayer added there are also academic benefits to students seeing the applicability of what they’re learning.
“It’s quite amazing to see what happens,” he said. “Once the students see the relevance of what they’re doing and they see the light at the end of the tunnel and the goal, that’s half the battle. You see that work ethic just ratchet right up.”

~ GAVEN CRITES, Alaska Highway News, May 23, 2013

Working Together Gets the Job Done

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By , April 25, 2013

The commitment of numerous community partners is what makes career opportunities for youth possible, proving the adage “it takes a village to raise a child.”

Dale McEahern (Carpenter) and Rayel Cooper (Oil & Gas Field Operator) share their experience as two of the many students who have benefitted from dual credit programs through Northern Opportunities partnerships that allow local youth to get college credits and experience while they complete their high school diplomas.

Dale McEahern (Carpenter) and Rayel Cooper (Oil & Gas Field Operator) share their experience as two of the many students who have benefitted from dual credit programs through Northern Opportunities partnerships that allow local youth to get college credits and experience while they complete their high school diplomas.

Northern Opportunities held a mixer last week to highlight its contributors and celebrate 10 years of providing dual credit programs to secondary students in the area. The organization links Fort Nelson, Peace River North, and Peace River South school districts, Northern Lights College, First Nations and industry to combine high school, college studies and practical training so students can get advanced college credit and certifications in a trade while they finish high school. At the event, students who partook said the program was an invaluable stepping stone.

“Growing up I always had my sights set on being a horse riding instructor,” said Rayel Cooper. “I’ve lived on a farm my whole life, so I knew the career I wanted was something to do with horses, so why not teach kids how to ride?”

She said when she learned about the trades, she realized there might be another way to support her hobbies.

“As I got older I researched into it a bit more and came to realize there was a lot more to it than I thought,” she said. “When I was about 16 I knew the job I wanted had to be a good-paying job because I had a list of things I wanted like a truck, a snowmobile and, of course, a horse trailer.”

Cooper said she first learned about the dual credit program in junior high when her class toured nearby colleges. She started to plan for her career around Grade 11, she said, using that information to guide her.

“I also knew a few people that went through the program as well so I looked into the courses the college offered as dual credit programs and one that really caught my eye was power engineering,” she said.

“So for my Grade 11 year I signed up for all the high school courses I needed to take to get into power engineering and close to the end of the year I was kind of getting mixed feelings about working in the oil patch in that particular career. So I looked into other courses and another one that caught my eye was oil and gas field operations. I knew it was kind of similar to power engineering and that it was only four-and-a-half months long so if I didn’t like the oil patch I only went through four-and-a-half months of schooling instead of a year of schooling.”

Cooper said it was challenging to be away from home for the first time, but one she says developed her character.

“The course was offered at the Fort St. John campus (of Northern Lights College) so I had to move into a dorm which was a little scary. The first few weeks of college was very overwhelming. I was the youngest in the program and the only
girl. I didn’t really know anyone, so it definitely helped me out to become more of an independent person because I didn’t have anyone to rely on to do stuff for me. Once I got to know everyone in class it became a lot more fun and I was excited to go to class every day.”

It turned out Cooper had found something she wanted to stick with. Now she is employed with a large oil and gas corporation and, she says, having the time of her life.

“I get along really good with everybody that I work with. My mentor was really good, he taught me a lot. A year after I started working I got offered a direct position under (that company) so I accepted it and it’s been great, they recently sent me and one other lady to Nashville for a really big safety conference, that was the trip of a lifetime,” Cooper said.

“They are a company to grow and they are providing job opportunities. I’m very thankful for the high school and the college for providing us with the dual credit program because without it I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Dale McEachern was equally complimentary.

“I did the dual credit program and I went into my level two carpenter and it was definitely a good experience,” he said. “Without the Northern Opportunities I don’t think I would be where I am now and I really want to thank them for having this for the student to be able to even consider going in the field, getting hands-on and I’m currently working with a journeyman carpenter right now and I’m getting all my hands-on training and I’m learning every day new things.”

McEachern’s mother, Alma, said the program helped Dale to become excited for school while most kids consider it a chore.

“We talked about what he really liked about school and he said, ‘Well I like the wood work,’” She said. “So I said we’ll see about him going into carpentry and we were at the high school and he got into level one carpentry in Grade 11 and
it was like a new world for him. Eight o’clock in the morning was nothing to have him up, dressed, waiting at the door for me to get ready and go to school instead of me running and saying Dale, we’ve got to go, we’re going to be late.”

She said she was full of pride for Dale’s achievements and gratitude to the partners of Northern Opportunities.

“The person he’s got working with him right now is not only his employer, but Dale had a couple rough bumps in college and he called on mom to come and help. He says ‘Mom, I don’t understand this.’ I said ‘phone your boss,’ so he did. The person that he’s working for said, ‘Bring your books and we’ll go through it.’

“So thank you for the program itself, the sponsors who’ve been in the program and the workers who are out there in the world employing our students and letting them learn under them. As a mom I am really grateful and thankful that he’s now chosen his career he’s so looking forward to.”

~ Derek Bedry, Alaska Highway News

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