Discover Trades BC featured at Northern Lights College Dual Credit Day in School District No. 59

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commentsComments Off on Discover Trades BC featured at Northern Lights College Dual Credit Day in School District No. 59
By , December 2, 2012

By Jill Earl
Northeast News Nov. 22

DAWSON CREEK- Grade nine students from across School District 59 came to the Dawson Creek campus of Northern Lights College last Thursday to get a closer look at the career opportunities available in trades.

The students participated in a number of sessions that allowed them to visit classrooms and learn hands-on about different programs the college offers. Sessions showcased opportunities in plumbing, electrician, carpentry, hairstyling and cosmetology, millwright, welding, automotive and cooking.

Kelly Betts, project manager for Discover Trades BC, says that many high school students are aware of common trades like plumbing and carpentry but don’t know about the vast majority of others.

“There are over a 100 different trades and so there’s so many jobs out there and skill sets required to support our society. The more that we can expose students with events like today where they get a chance to go into those shops and talk to those people and go, ‘wow, I had no idea’, really a great opportunity for these students,” she said.

Betts was invited to speak during the day and introduced the students and educators to the Discover Trades BC website, which includes a variety of resources for those thinking about getting into trades. She believes it’s important to expose students at an early age about different education and career paths and that information sessions like the one held at the college are necessary for students to form a decision.

“What our research is telling us is that students formulate their opinions about careers quite early…often times at grade 11 or 12 they’ve already made their decisions about what they’re planning to do after high school. If they don’t get exposure earlier about the opportunities and what it might be like to work in a career, then they get a very screwed perspective of the world,” Betts said.

The day also introduced students to the duel credit program offered by NLC and school districts across the province. Duel credit programs allow high school students, who have met all necessary prerequisites, to take college programs or classes while earning credits towards their high school diploma in their grade 11 or 12 year.

If students enroll in a trades program for a semester they can earn 16 credits towards their high school diploma- which needs 80 credits- as apart of their electives courses, a college credential if it’s a certificate program and they earn foundational or level one of whatever trade that they’re enrolled in.

“So in a way it’s almost a triple credit program,” said Frances Armstrong, career programs manager for School District 59.

Students can take just about every program offered at the college including university transfer courses and academic courses, but they are encouraged to talk to their career counsellor early on about their interest to ensure they have all the required classes.

The school district has had this program available to students for over the past 15 years, though it began only for a couple students who’s needs weren’t being met by the regular
high school program.

Armstrong says that in 2005, the Industry Training Authority made funding available to school districts to engage students in trades programs while they were still in high school. The funding program is called ACE IT, accelerated credit enrollment in industry training, it is available across the province and provides money to school districts to pay for the college programs and courses taken by duel credit students.

“They could see that there was going to be a huge demand for trades in the future…they knew what was coming, so this is an initiative that they started,” said Armstrong about the hundreds of thousands of job vacancies expected in Canada in the future.

Dawson Creek grade nine student, Austin Collins, says that he learned a lot during the day and wasn’t aware that cooking and early childhood education were even considered trades.

“Welding is not me, or automotive, cooking is more me…The day is not even finished and I can almost guarantee this is something I’d love to do, just the duel credit,” Collins said.

Betts says the trades have changed considerably over the last number of years and are expected to keep changing as new information and technology become available. She says hands-on information sessions directed at students helps them to make educated choices about potential careers.

“A lot of parents perspectives-if they haven’t had a lot of exposure to trades-they may not understand the opportunities…if you haven’t had exposure to something it’s really hard to be recommending certain areas or certain careers, so yeah I think there is a stigma,” Betts said.

“It’s not a low skill activity. To be a trades person, to be a good trades person, it does require post secondary education, college education, so a lot of times people don’t
 understand that,” she adds.

Summer Newsletter

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By , September 25, 2012

2012 Summer Newsletter

Lekstrom retires as Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship

commentsComments Off on Lekstrom retires as Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship
By , May 1, 2012

Jeff Beale (left), chair of the Northern Opportunities Learning Council, presents Jeff Lekstrom with a gift upon his retirement from NLC.

DAWSON CREEK – After more than 23 years as a student, instructor, manager and dean at Northern Lights College, Jeff Lekstrom’s clearest memories are of the students.

And upon his retirement from NLC on April 27 as the Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship, it is those memories of the thousands of students he has met over the years that will stick with him.

“For the students, the College and its programs make such a difference in their lives. They are able to go out and make a good living, and support their families,” Lekstrom said. “I have had students cry after they graduated because that’s the kind of positive impact the College has had on their lives.” Lekstrom spent 13 years as a welding instructor at NLC, and the last decade as the Manager and then Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship. He is also a graduate of the welding program at the College’s Dawson Creek Campus, where he had the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of his father, who was also a welding instructor at NLC in the 1970s.

Lekstrom points to two areas where he is proudest of the growth that has occurred.

One is being able to expand trades programming. Mobile training units and shops at the Chetwynd and Fort Nelson campuses have allowed the delivery of various programs including Welding, Oil and Gas Field Operations, and Power Engineering and Gas Processing at those campuses. On-location training has been developed for First Nations, featuring programs such as Cook Training and Carpentry Foundation.

“Being able to offer these programs makes a big difference in those communities. A lot of students in those areas are not able to come to Dawson Creek or Fort St. John for training,” Lekstrom said.  The other area is the development and growth of Dual Credit programming, where high school students enrol at NLC to gain secondary and post-secondary credits while still in high school. Lekstrom recalls that Dual Credit began 22 years ago, with an agreement between NLC and School District 59 to accommodate a student who was not doing well in high school, but who really wanted to take welding.  Since then, Dual Credit has expanded to include all trades programs, a number of vocational programs, and several University Arts and Sciences courses, and has participation from school districts throughout the College region. “Northern Opportunities was the catalyst to bring all the school districts and industry partners together to formalize things,” said Lekstrom, who was also an original member when Northern Opportunities was founded in 2003.  After more than a decade interacting with students on a daily basis, Lekstrom recalls that the move from the classroom to the administration level was a challenge. “The biggest adjustment as an administrator is not dealing with the students everyday. You have to realize that you can still make a difference, but at a different level, and that benefits all the instructors and the students,” Lekstrom said.

In addition to overseeing programming at NLC, Lekstrom served on various committees and boards at the regional, provincial and national levels, including being one of the original members of the Industry Training Authority Aboriginal Steering Committee.

Lekstrom is considering some international education opportunities to keep him busy after he leaves NLC. And he leaves NLC with many fond memories.

“Trades and Apprenticeships are my passion. I have gotten everything in my life I ever wanted, and more, because of Trades and Apprenticeships,” Lekstrom said. “I have had a really good career at NLC. The people, the students, have been great.”

Until a new Dean is hired, two acting associate deans – Pam Eales and Mark Heartt – will oversee the Trades and Apprenticeship division.

 

 

NLC, SPCRS celebrate opening of new Reconnect House

commentsComments Off on NLC, SPCRS celebrate opening of new Reconnect House
By , April 28, 2012

DAWSON CREEK – Residential Construction students from Northern Lights College and the South Peace Community

The front of the original Reconnect House on the day it was demolished.

Resources Society (SPCRS) celebrated the completion of the latest NLC home construction project with an open house on April 20.

Each year, the Residential Construction class builds a house as the practical portion of the Foundation trades training program.

This year, in cooperation with SPCRS and several community partners, the students constructed the new Reconnect House, a facility operated by SPCRS that provides programs and resources for youth in the South Peace region. The house is located on the site of the previous structure, at 904-103 Avenue in Dawson Creek.

“This was a great project for Northern Lights College. We were able to put back into the community in a big way, and help an organization achieve something that they might not have been able to achieve otherwise,” said Mark Heartt, Trades and Apprenticeship chair at NLC. “This has been a great project for the students. They learned what it feels like to donate to the community.”

The front of the new Reconnect House

During the open house, Arden Smith, department manager Family Safety, Counselling and Support Services for SPCRS, thanked the students for their work on the project.

“It’s been an amazing journey, watching you start from that hole in the ground back in October, and then to see this great facility. You can go away from this with a whole lot of pride in the work that you have done,” Smith said. “We extend our thanks and gratitude to the NLC Residential Construction training program and to the community for making this project happen.”

The result is a 1,300 square foot home that includes a living room, kitchen and dining room in the front, laundry facilities, washrooms and office space in the back. As has become common with NLC house projects, the structure is concrete from foundation to roof, with a high-efficiency furnace, hot water on demand, and an air-exchange system.

The students had some challenges on the project. Heartt said it was one of the smallest lots his students have worked on, but that it was a good learning process for when the students enter the workforce.

“Even backfilling was tough. We had to bring in special equipment, including a very small Bobcat. The students got to see what to do in very tight conditions,” Heartt said.

A number of industry and community partners made the project possible through donations in support of the new Reconnect House. The partners will be recognized on a special Donor Wall in the house, and during a special Donor Recognition Day on May 11.

Partners included: R. Moch Electric, Rotary Clubs of Dawson Creek, R-Home Supply, Encana Corporation, Lakeview Credit Union, Larry Moody, Rick Pavlis Trucking, Aquastat Plumbing and Heating, Emco Corporation, School District 59, Aurora Concrete, City of Dawson Creek, Tryon Land Surveying, Big Valley Sand and Gravel, George Hauber, The Cat Rental Store, and Travel Professionals.

The open house also included a display of artwork by students in NLC’s Visual Arts program.

For more information on the new Reconnect House and the services available, contact SPCRS at 250-782-9174. For more information on programs available at NLC, check the website at nlc.bc.ca, or call 250-782-5251.

Peace Region Skills Canada team heads off to provincials

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By , April 19, 2012

DAWSON CREEK – The students representing the Peace Region at the 18th annual Skills Canada British Columbia championships in Abbotsford gathered at Northern Lights College for a sendoff on Tuesday morning.

Team members were presented with jackets, and also assembled for a group photo, before departing for their flight to the Lower Mainland.

The Peace Region team is comprised of 20 competitors, including middle school, high school, and post-secondary students. Qualifiers were selected based on their performances at the Peace Region competition in March, held at NLC and Dawson Creek Secondary School.

Members of the Peace Region team competing at the provincials include:

Junior Division
·  Spaghetti Bridge: McKayla Dawson, Leah Thomson, Aaron Glover, Rachel McPhail
·  Gravity Cars: Jarrod Krane, Keatton Tiernan

Secondary Division
·  TV/Video Production: Bryan VanGenne, William MacElheren
·  Architectural CAD Design: Kelsey Wozniak
·  Cabinetmaking: Lucas Stratuliak
·  Carpentry: Marcus Bullert
·  Cosmetology: Carmen Mitchell
·  Welding: Austin Biddulph

Post-Secondary Division
·  Culinary Arts: Casey Gairdner
·  Aircraft Maintenance: Kristin Thackeray, Kristen Piazzini, Jeff Quock
·  Carpentry: Kyle Turner
·  Cosmetology: Kaley Garant
·  Welding: Branden Bowerman

Contributions were received from several organizations towards the travel costs for the event: EnCana Natural Gas, School District 59 Parent Advisory Committee, School Districts 59 and 60, and the Northern Lights College Foundation.

The provincial championships will be held on Wednesday, April 18 at Tradex in Abbotsford. For more information or results, go to www.skillscanada.bc.ca.

Primary Care Paramedic program in Dawson Creek

commentsComments Off on Primary Care Paramedic program in Dawson Creek
By , April 18, 2012

DAWSON CREEK – Northern Lights College has partnered with the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) to offer the Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) program at the College’s Dawson Creek Campus.

The PCP program is the second level of paramedic training in British Columbia, and meets national occupational competency standards set out by the Paramedic Association of Canada. The program is accredited by the Canadian Medical Association.

The program operates on a distributed learning, part-time model that is comprised of three components: independent study online, which started in late March; a series of weekend workshops at NLC from May 25 to December; and three months of ambulance and in-hospital practicum starting in January 2013.

“The PCP program has a format that allows students to work and attend the program concurrently,” said Steven Mills, PCP Program Manager for the JIBC’s School of Health Sciences. “The program is intensive and utilizes a hands-on, applied, experiential learning model. It’s about enhancing health care in the north, and bringing new services and opportunities to our communities.”

Program components include intravenous therapy and other drug therapies, and a focus on cardiac, respiratory and trauma patients. The course will provide local ambulance personnel with a higher level of training and ability to treat patients.

The PCP program will complement the health care programs already offered in NLC’s Health Sciences Building – Health Care Assistant certificate, and Practical Nursing diploma. Both of those NLC programs are currently accepting applications for the next intakes starting in September.

Instructors for the program, Lana Wild and Debra Roberts, have a combined 25 years experience as paramedics. JIBC Regional Training Coordinator Greg Wright, with 35 years experience as a paramedic, oversees delivery of the program. As well, local BC Ambulance staff members will participate.

Piping projects go where no Instrumentation students have gone before

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By , April 12, 2012

Butterfly: Cole Comeau, Travis Stevens and Calum Rounthwaite

Enterprise: James Dawe and Michael Bourgoin

Horse: Teresa McNabb and Andrea Kurjata

FORT ST. JOHN – Students in the Industrial Instrumentation Foundation Trades program at the Fort St. John Campus of Northern Lights College showed their creativity during a recent piping project.

Instructor Stacy Smith asked the students to construct three-dimensional (geometric) shapes that could be pressure tested up to and hold 30 psi.

The projects yielded some impressive results, including a reproduction of the original Starship Enterprise, a horse, and a butterfly.

“The students this year have produced some extremely difficult and creative projects. However, the key part of the project is that every connection has to hold when the pressure test is done,” said Smith.

For more information on Trades and Apprenticeship programs at NLC, check the website at nlc.bc.ca or call the College at 1-866-463-6652.

Record number registered for Skills Canada regional competition

commentsComments Off on Record number registered for Skills Canada regional competition
By , March 3, 2012

DAWSON CREEK – A record number of students from northeastern British Columbia are registered to participate in the Skills Canada Peace Region competition, March 8-9 in Dawson Creek.

More than 170 students – ranging from middle school students to post-secondary Apprentices – are expected to compete in the two-day event. It is believed that the Peace Region competition will have the second largest number of competitors in the province.

A new competition this year is Gravity Car, where middle school competitors will see who has the fastest car on a 24-foot track. As well, returning after a two-year absence is TV/Video Production competition where teams of two students have five hours to create a video on a topic that is not revealed until the day of the competition.
The schedule of events is as follows:
Junior Skills: Thursday, March 8. Spaghetti Bridge and Gravity Cars, in the gymnasium at NLC’s Dawson Creek Campus.
Secondary Skills: Thursday, March 8. Cabinetmaking, CAD Architectural Design and Cosmetology at Dawson Creek Secondary School (DCSS) South Peace Campus; and Carpentry, TV/Video Production and Welding at NLC.
Post-Secondary (Apprentice) Skills: Friday, March 9. Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, Carpentry, Culinary Arts (Secondary), Culinary Arts (Post-Secondary) and Welding at NLC; Cosmetology/Hairstyling at NLC’s South Peace Campus, behind DCSS.

Registration is at 8:30 am each day, with competition beginning at 9 am. Awards will be presented at 4 pm each day.
The Skills Canada Peace Region competition is organized by staff members from NLC, and School Districts 59 and 60. Sponsorship is provided by Encana, the Industry Training Authority, and the DCSS Parent Advisory Council.
Gold medalists in each division have the opportunity to travel to Abbotsford for the Provincial Skills competition.  Last year, Andrew Lines, an AME student at NLC, captured the provincial title, and a silver medal at the Skills Canada national championships.

Skills Canada is a national organization that promotes excellence in skilled trades and technologies by organizing competitions at the Middle School, Secondary and Post-Secondary (Apprentice) levels.

Shell donation benefits students in northeast B.C.

commentsComments Off on Shell donation benefits students in northeast B.C.
By , February 28, 2012

FORT ST. JOHN – Students at Northern Lights College and in northeastern British Columbia in general are the beneficiaries of a $35,000 donation by Shell Canada Limited.

The donation was received

Murray Slezak, Donna Kane, Rejean Tetrault, Carson Newby

by the Northern Lights College Foundation and will be used to support Northern Opportunities.

From the donation, $25,000 will be used for continued program development and special projects and $10,000 will be used to provide scholarships to Dual Credit students in the Oil and Gas Field Operations program at the Fort St. John Campus.

Shell’s contribution to Northern Opportunities is their initial contribution to the partnership. The funds will be used for continued program development and special projects.

“The Northern Opportunities Dual Credit program has resulted in a significant increase in high school graduates in northeastern British Columbia,” said Murray Slezak, Social Performance Team Leader for Shell. “Ultimately, this program improves community, family and individual well-being in addition to supplying a larger, qualified local workforce.”

Northern Opportunities is a partnership that represents a regional collaboration of industry, Aboriginal, education and government organizations.

“Northern Opportunities is pleased to announce its newest partner, Shell Canada Energy, and acknowledge the contribution towards supporting its mission of enhancing opportunities for students to succeed in high school, pursue post-secondary education and build rewarding careers in the Northeast,” said Cheryl Anthony of Northern Opportunities.

The cheque presentation was made on Feb. 7 at NLC’s Fort St. John Campus. Donna Kane, executive director of the NLC Foundation, accepted the cheque from Shell’s Slezak; Rejean Tetrault, Northeastern British Columbia Regional Operations Manager; and Carson Newby, Community Affairs.

Student awards are administered by the NLC Foundation. For more information on the NLC Foundation, check the NLC website at nlc.bc.ca or contact Donna Kane at 250-784-7613 or email dkane@nlc.bc.ca.

Newsletter

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By , November 25, 2011

November 2011View our newsletter to learn about Dual Credit Days, Industry Contributions, and more!

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