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Trades & Industry Fair attracts hundreds to NWCC

TERRACE Northwest Community College (NWCC) hosted its first-ever Trades & Industry Fair April 20 at its Terrace Campus and with a strong turnout of more than 200 registrants, planners are looking to extend the fair next year to a weeklong event. High school students, as well as mature students, from Terrace and Thornhill, Smithers and New Aiyansh were joined by groups of College students from Greenville, Smithers, Kitimat, Kitwanga, Kincolith and Gitsegukla. The all-day event gave participants the choice of workshops among seven different trades areas: Professional Cook, Auto Mechanics, Heavy Duty Mechanics, Welding, Electrical, Heavy Equipment Operator and Carpentry. The demonstrations were run by NWCC Trades instructors and the goal was to help students determine if they wanted to pursue studies in Trades. Lavender Morgan, a 19-year-old NWCC student in the Career & College Prep program in Hazelton, said she was surprised with the variety of trades. Having taken the ACE IT program in Culinary Arts while still in high school, the Kitwanga resident says she plans to enrol in the Professional Cook program this fall but enjoyed seeing what other trades are all about. It was really neat seeing the buildings they construct in the carpentry program, Morgan said. I just assumed it was all woodwork. I didn't know they worked with cement, too. While there were a series of workshops throughout the day, informational booths were set up all day in Waap Galtsap, Terrace longhouse. On hand were employment recruiters, student financial aid experts and College student services team members. The employers included ALS Labs, Progressive Ventures and Bechtel, all of which are forecasting a high demand for labourers, apprentices and experienced journeymen. Other recruiters present were the Canada 2011 Census representatives, which require large numbers of short-term staffers throughout the region, the Heritage Park Museum seeking carpenters as summer staffers, the RCMP and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Employment services by Northwest Training, small business advice by 16/37 Community Futures, and funding options from M‚tis Nation of BC and Pacific Trails Pipeline were also on hand. The college table included information on the ACE IT program for trades training during high school, and the Industry Training Authority. Student services and student loans information was there, and dorm tours ran every 30 minutes. The Trades & Industry Fair exceeded our expectations and will definitely become an annual event, said Margo Van Der Touw, NWCC Dean of Trades and of Continuing Education & Industry Training. There was a real buzz on campus generated from the interest and feedback about how good the day was not just from students, but from instructors, career counsellors and funders.

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