Students enrolled in the Work-Ready program at the Huntingdon Adult Education and Community Centre (HAECC) are being outfitted to find work in the semi-skilled trades, in more ways than one. The program combines academic study with hands-on work so students gain job skills and experience; and now, students will also be provided with proper clothing and materials for the stage component of their studies.
HAECC received a $5,000 Educaide grant, sponsored by Kaleido, to ensure students are properly equipped. “The idea to apply for funding came from the reality that many of our students do not have the means to purchase proper clothing such as work boots, hard hats, coveralls, or winter/outdoor gear for many of the semi-skilled trades that they can be certified in,” says Brooke Wilson, the project development officer with the New Frontiers School Board who coordinates the program.
Each student registered in the program is paired with one of 40 local businesses, where they must complete a 375-hour work placement component. “We wanted to make sure they were comfortable, safe, and ready to learn,” explains Wilson, who notes the cost of such equipment can be a barrier for some individuals looking to work in the trades.
HAECC is partnering with the Vallée des Travailleurs workwear store in Huntingdon to outfit the students. Teachers or school personnel accompany the students and help ensure they are appropriately outfitted before the start of the work component. “We are proud to be able to ‘shop local’ with our students,” Wilson says.
Graduates of the program receive a Training Certificate for a Semi-skilled Trade (TCST) from the Ministry of Education and can keep the equipment and clothing purchased through the school. More information on the program can be found online at nfsb.me/workready/.