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 Jamie Pettit
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From: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 10:00 AM -0500
Subject:Young Women Try the Trades
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Staff from the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) have been busy attending Bluewater District School Board secondary school information nights to promote skilled trades related careers to aspiring young women.

On Thursday, January 18, Owen Sound District Secondary School, in partnership with OYAP, hosted its Young Women Try the Trades event with over 100 Image of student torquing car wheel at OSDSScurrent Grade 7 and 8 elementary students and their parents visiting the many different technology labs throughout the school.  Trades focused career pathway categories included Design Technology, Communication Technology, Woodworking/Construction, Automotive, Electrical/Drywall, Integrated Technology, Culinary Arts, and Hairstyling & Aesthetics.  Skilled professional tradeswomen currently pursuing multiple industry related careers also visited to lend their support.  After completing projects to take home, students enjoyed a special meal prepared by the Owen Sound District Secondary School Culinary program.  Schools represented included Sullivan Community School, Holland-Chatsworth Central School, Arran-Tara Elementary School, East Ridge Community School, with current students from Owen Sound District Secondary School also on hand.

Image of students using grinder at GHSSAt Grey Highlands Secondary School in Flesherton, a similar event was held on Wednesday, January 17.  Approximately 35 young women from local schools had the opportunity to attend a “Ladies’ Night Out”, also sponsored by OYAP.  Students were encouraged to bring along a female friend, their mother, or their aunt to complete a small project in six different areas of Technological Studies.  Those in attendance hailed from Beavercrest Community School, Osprey Central School, Highpoint Community School, and Macphail Memorial Elementary School, with lots of representation also from Grey Highlands Secondary School.

In the Manufacturing classroom, the sparks flew with a demonstration on how to use the plasma cutter and grinder with participants making name plates on sheets of stainless steel.  In Construction, the young women were assisted in the creation of a boot jack using a band saw, while Transportation participants learned how to maintain a vehicle, including how to perform an oil change.  The Grey Highlands Secondary School Specialist High Skills Major in Landscaping and Horticulture was also proudly on display.  Visitors were helped with cutting interlocking bricks, planting indoor succulent gardens for the women to take home, and the pruning techniques of landscaping maintenance.  Those with an interest in graphic design took photographs and created personal postcards.  Hospitality participants had a chance to eat the results of their efforts as they made a delicious squash soup and an open-faced baked sandwich.  If that was not enough to eat, a lasagna dinner prepared by students enrolled in the school’s Hospitality and Tourism course more than satisfied appetites.  The evening was a great success, and school staff are hoping that more of these young women will consider taking courses in Technological Studies next year.  As they register, students have an opportunity to enroll in the Grade 9 Integrated Technologies course, which provides an introduction to the design process and various areas of technological studies.  It is amazing to think that these young women in Grade 8 will be secondary students in approximately seven months, while in a few years, there will be multiple career pathways in the skilled trades that they could be apprenticing in!

Owen Sound District Secondary School and Grey Highlands Secondary School extend thanks to OYAP and professional tradeswomen for their continued support of student programs.  OYAP is currently working with other Bluewater District School Board secondary schools to coordinate additional Young Women Try the Trades events in the near future.  Kincardine District Secondary School will host its event on Thursday, February 22, 2018.

Image of student standing with teacher proudly showcasing her metal heart creation at OSDSSImage of sparks flying as student works in a shop at GHSSImage of student showcasing her metal heart creation at OSDSS
Image of student working in the Manufacturing lab at OSDSS with a teacher and OYAP staff Image of students working with the CNC machine at OSDSS
Group photo image of students in their welding gear with teacher at OSDSS