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High school trades students getting hands-on experience, thanks to valley business community

Comox Valley Schools are applauding local business owners and staff for giving trades students a leg-up.

The district says valley businesses have been an integral and supportive part of the training journey for many students pursuing career opportunities in trades.

Each year, secondary trades students work within their community at local companies, whether paid or unpaid, to explore career pathways and gain valuable experience in carpentry, electrical, welding, fabrication, and mechanics, just to name a few.

“Along with the support of the local business community, these work placements give youth hands-on learning experiences, industry knowledge, and specialized skills, all of which lead to a more enriching education experience outside the classroom,” the district said in a release. 

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“In addition, students develop valuable interpersonal

communication skills needed in supporting customers, or between co-workers and with supervisors.”

Blake Konschak, G.P. Vanier Secondary student, recently completed a 100-hour placement with DN Auto during his Grade 11 year.

Prior to the Trades Sampler Program, he was not entirely certain which career path to follow.

“The work experience was a really nice steppingstone, and it all came together for me this year,” shared Konschak. “Everyone [at DN Auto] was super friendly, and I had a good time and learning experience. It

was a good introduction to becoming an automotive mechanic.”

From a parent’s perspective, Sandra Gadd acknowledged how fantastic the program has been for her son Morgan, enrolled at Mark R. Isfeld in the Metal Mechanical Program.

“It was a dream come true for him to get that kind of on-the-job experience at Edgett Excavating. He’s had minimal actual work experience before because his disabilities have meant he has had to complete classes throughout each summer,” expressed Gadd.

 “I’d like to thank (the district) for the opportunities the program and support have given him. Morgan is so much more confident about his future after high school now.”

Comox Valley Schools are thanking the following businesses that supported its Trade Sampler Program this year:

  • Benco Ventures
  • Rideout Construction Ltd.
  • Pacific Air Mechanical
  • ServiceMaster Restore
  • AFC Construction
  • Alpine Concrete
  • Andrew Sheret Ltd.
  • KEB Construction
  • Cameron Contracting
  • Horizon Energy Systems
  • Coastal Pacific Mechanical
  • Killops Electrical
  • Aroc’s Contracting Ltd.
  • Boondock Development Ltd.
  • Knappett Projects Inc.
  • Mainroad North Island Contracting LP
  • Canadian Tire
  • Forbidden Mechanical
  • Fountain Tire
  • Seeco Automotive
  • Randall’s Autobody
  • DN Auto Corp
  • Courtenay Mazda
  • North Island Tractor Ltd.
  • Courtenay Auto Repair Centre
  • Mount Washington Alpine Resort – Maintenance & Facilities
  • School District 71 – Maintenance & Facilities
  • Westview Ford
  • Kal Tire
  • Dale’s Plumbing
  • Atlas Manufacturing Ltd.
  • CanWest Mechanical Inc.
  • Ridgeline Mechanical Ltd.
  • Edgett Excavating Ltd.
  • JYD Plumbing & Gas Ltd.
  • Dalron Systems Ltd.
  • Forbidden Alloy Products
  • CSN-Reliable Autobody
  • T-Mar Industries Ltd.
  • Coastal Welding & Metal Fabrication
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