Skills Canada NWT proudly hosted the 18th Annual Power Up! Career Exploration Workshops this past Monday and Tuesday. These workshops provide Grade 8 students from Yellowknife and surrounding communities an opportunity to learn about exciting careers by participating in various interactive workshops. Students visited different organizations around Yellowknife and had a chance to see what a career would be like in their chosen workshop.
The Grade 8 girls workshops took place on Monday, December 3rd, and the Grade 8 boys took place the following day on Tuesday, December 4th. Each morning began with a ‘Kickoff Party’ as local rapper and DJ ‘Godson’ welcomed the students to the event by playing some games and handing out prizes to get students excited for the upcoming day.
Ali Kincaid, Executive Director of Skills Canada NWT, then delivered her opening remarks. Skills Canada NWT was also joined by Cora Rentmeister of Government of the Northwest Territories, Department of Education, Culture and Employment. Cora spoke about the Skills 4 Success initiative, which is is aimed at closing education and employment gaps and addressing recruitment and retention challenges in the NWT. Meta Antolin of the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission also delivered a special message to the students about the importance of working safely and asking questions about how to stay safe at work.
Following the ‘Kickoff Party’, students attended two different career exploration workshops. At the workshops, students participated in various interactive and hands-on activities that taught them about various occupations within the trades and technology sectors. Some of these activities included an introduction to carpentry where students built their very own toolbox at École Sir John Franklin High School, others learned about diagnosing and repairing a small engine at Polar Tech Recreation, while others learned how to determine the age of a moose by examining its teeth, at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources!
in total there were over a dozen workshop options for students to select from.
Many organizations took part in this year’s Power Up! Career Exploration Workshops, and Skills Canada NWT would like to thank them for their contributions to this wonderful event.
École Sir John Franklin High School/ATTC
École St. Patrick High School/KCTC
Government of the Northwest Territories, Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Government of the Northwest Territories, Northwest Territories Geological Survey
Stanton Eye Clinic
Polar Tech Recreation
Canadian Armed Forces
The Power Up! Career Exploration Workshops serve as an amazing opportunity to showcase the many careers that are available in trades and technology. “This important event exposes students to some incredible careers that they may not have known about.” Said Skills Canada NWT’s Executive Director, Ali Kincaid. “We are hopeful that students will come away with a desire to explore some of these careers further as they begin high school.”
Skills Canada NWT would like to thank the many organizations, chaperones and volunteers that participated and donated their time to make this year’s Power Up! Career Exploration Workshops a success.
HGTV host and celebrity builder Paul Lafrance was in Yellowknife last weekend to celebrate National Skilled Trades and Technology Week with Skills Canada Northwest Territories at the 2nd Annual Dominion Diamond Blue Collar Gala. Businesses, trades professionals, apprentices, and community members came together to celebrate, and talk about the importance of trades and technology in our community. The Dominion Diamond Blue Collar Gala also serves as an annual fundraiser for Skills Canada NWT, which is a registered charity with a mission to promote careers in skilled trades and technology to northern youth.
The evening began as Krystal Pidborochynski, Vice President of Skills Canada NWT, introduced herself as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Krystal welcomed Minister Caroline Cochrane, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment for the Government of the Northwest Territories, who spoke; as well as Travis Stewart, President of Skills Canada NWT, who delivered a heartfelt speech about the need to encourage young people to explore careers in trades and technology.
Skills Canada NWT was thrilled to announce its three scholarship recipients for 2018. These $1,500 scholarships were awarded to three students from the NWT who are pursuing an education in trades or technology. Cassidy Villeneuve, (Digital Communications, Lethbridge College) Francis Ratelle (Carpentry, Aurora College, Boiler Controls & Installations Ltd.) and Shane Bailey (Housing Maintainer, Nunavut Arctic College, Norman Wells Housing Authority) were all recognized for their remarkable academic success.
In addition to recognizing scholarship recipients, Skills Canada NWT also awarded Karis Dekwant, of Inuvik, the first ever Outstanding Alumni Award for her achievements both at the Skills Canada NWT Regional and Territorial Competitions, and at the Skills Canada National Competition where she became a two-time national gold medallist in the secondary Baking competition.
The keynote speaker at the Gala was Paul Lafrance – host of Decked Out, Disaster Decks, and Custom Built, which all air on HGTV. He is also the host of the new upcoming series Backyard Revolution! Paul discussed his own journey into the trades, and talked about the importance of exposing youth to the variety of career opportunities in the skilled trades and technology sectors.
In addition to being a successful fundraiser for Skills Canada NWT, the Dominion Diamond Blue Collar Gala also serves as an amazing opportunity to showcase the many programs and events that are held by Skills Canada NWT throughout the year. “Our goal is to expose students to as many skills as possible before they finish high school. We want them to make informed decisions about what to do after high school, and enter into exciting and fulfilling careers sooner”, said Ali Kincaid, Executive Director, Skills Canada NWT.
Skills Canada NWT would like to thank Dominion Diamond Mines for their continued support and making this event possible, as well as the sponsors, partners and friends who assisted not only with the Gala, but contribute to Skills Canada NWT programs and events throughout the year.
16 competitors from the Northwest Territories, and over 550 competitors in total, travelled from across Canada to Edmonton, Alberta, to compete in 44 skill areas, in the 2018 Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC), on June 4th & 5th.
Team Northwest Territories included competitors in Automobile Technology, Baking, Cabinetmaking, Cooking, Electrical Installations, Graphic Design Technology, Hairstyling, Job Skill Demonstration, Outdoor Power and Recreation Equipment, Photography, Public Speaking, Video Production, and Welding. These skilled students and apprentices were tested over the course of the two-day contest, and the top placing competitors in each category were awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at the closing ceremony on June 6th.
“This competition is such an incredible event.” Says Ali Kincaid, Executive Director of Skills Canada NWT who serves as Team Leader for Team NWT at this event. “The trades and technology sectors offer wonderful and fulfilling careers. Witnessing the level of skill demonstrated by these young students and apprentices, who are the next generation of trades and technology professionals, gives me hope for the future of Canada.”
During the SCNC, the Edmonton Expo Centre saw over 6,000 visitors to the event, including students from local schools, industry leaders, family members and even celebrity guests – including HGTV’s Sherry Holmes, Paul Lafrance and Kate Campbell. Visitors took part by observing the dozens of skill contests and cheering on competitors. They were also able to participate in any number of over 50 different Try-A-Trade/Technology activities hosted onsite.
Team Northwest Territories took home four medals this year, with several other strong finishes. NWT medallists included:
Karis Dekwant – East Three Secondary School, Inuvik – GOLD (Baking)
Pyper Legge – Sir John Franklin High School, Yellowknife – SILVER (Cooking)
Robert Heron – Dominion Diamond Mines, Yellowknife – BRONZE (Electrical Installations)
Robert Warren – Ideal Woodwork, Yellowknife – BRONZE (Cabinetmaking)
Skills Canada NWT relies heavily on the support of government and industry. “Without the support of local NWT schools and businesses, we would not have a team to send to this event each year.” says Kincaid. “There are some incredible employers and educators across the NWT that believe in what we do and support this initiative wholeheartedly. They contribute financially, they give of their time, and they encourage and support their apprentices and students to compete in their chosen trade or skill area.”
Skills Canada NWT is already beginning preparations for the 2019 Territorial Skills Competition and Skills Canada National Competition. If you would like to compete or get involved, please contact our office.
The 2019 Skills Canada National Competition will be held at the Halifax Exhibition Centre, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, May 28 – 29, 2019.