The Greater Essex County District School Board and St. Clair College have entered into an agreement that has Precision Machining and Tooling (PMT) students on the fast track to a career.
The Ford Centre for Excellence in Manufacturing on the campus of St. Clair College, was the stage for the official announcement of the Dual Credit Attestation agreement between the two educators. This program that will enable high school students that meet certain criteria to fast track into their apprenticeships.
This is the first program of its kind in the province. While PMT students, who graduate high school in the same year, elsewhere in the province will be finishing up their last year of college, OYAP students from the GECDSB who attend St. Clair College will have already entered the workforce as certified apprentices.
Members from both the public board and the college were present to outline their part in this agreement. Public board trustee, Alan Halberstadt spoke of how excited and proud the board is to have such a program available to students.
“The returns on this venture,” according to Halberstadt, “will be wide-reaching.”
He addressed the group of about 60 students, along with staff, members of the college faculty and members of the media, pointing out that these students will receive another important benefit with this program, the manufacturing sector in Windsor-Essex will have access to a more skilled and highly trained workforce, sooner than before.
Students from the four schools that are taking part in the OYAP PMT program, General Amherst, Sandwich Secondary, Herman and Belle River District High School listened as Superintendent Dan Fister (pictured, right), who oversees the OYAP program, thanked the private industries in Windsor-Essex, some of which were on hand for the announcement, for opening their doors and being willing to partner with the board in this effort.
“We believe in learn to earn. Students are getting relevant, real-life experience,” Fister said.
Robert Chittim (below), Chair of Skilled Trades programs at St. Clair College spoke about the huge benefits that these students will see as they enter the work force.
He feels that everyone benefits from this agreement. Industry will see more skilled labour, easily accessible and local, the students can get started on their careers earlier and the college sees an increase in apprenticeship programs.
The PMT apprenticeship requires three levels of post-secondary school training. If criteria from the program is met for Level 1 (Basic) in grades 11/12, students will proceed to Level 2 (Intermediate) at St. Clair College, providing all additional secondary school requirements are met.
1. Students must be Registered Apprentices with the MTCU (Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities) and members of OCOT (Ontario College of Trades).
2. Students must complete both Grade 11 and Grade 12 of PMC OYAP program.
3. Students must complete Grade 12 Math.
4. Students must attain a combined average of 60% from the following 6 courses:
2-Manufacturing Technology (Double Credit) Gr. 11 and 12
2-Math Courses Gr. 11 and 12
2-Co-op Education (4 credits) Gr. 11 and 12
Apprentices that meet the requirements of the Attestation Protocol will be eligible to reduce the in school component of their training by one year.
“This program will allow student with the correct requirements to graduate grade 12 with qualifications that can provide local industry with the skilled labour force they so desperately need,” according to Chittim.
“With the College’s expertise in skilled trades training and focused courses and education at the high school level, the students participating in this program will have a wonderful foundation on which to excel,” said Dr. John Strasser, President of St. Clair College
Students were treated to a tour of the manufacturing area, watching as current students were immersed in their own PMT projects.
The dual credit program will start in September of 2015.