The Greater Essex County District School Board has nailed down a unique cooperative education partnership with the Carpenters' District Council of Ontario, Local 494 intended to provide career preparation for students with an interest in the various sectors of the construction industry, with an emphasis on carpentry, acoustic and drywall and resilient floor workers.
"In the past, it has sometimes been challenging for us to be able to find placements for the students who were interested in the construction trades," says Superintendent of Education for Student Success Vicki Houston.
The unique aspect of this cooperative education program is that the students will be placed with Local 494 where they will receive their basic skills and health and safety training. Local 494 will then work with contractors to put students in work placements at construction sites throughout Windsor and Essex County.
Public education is evolving rapidly. We have moved from a system that fits students into the options offered to one where many programs are developed to meet the needs and desires of the students.
"We hear, quite often, about the shortage of and demand for skilled trades professionals in construction and manufacturing but the voices we really need to listen to are those of our students. They are equally aware of what's happening in the community and they know that the future looks promising for careers in the skilled trades. So they are looking for programs that will give them a strong foundation and a competitive edge in the job market such as OYAP or a co-op placements."
This program provides a 4 credit coop placement and students will commit to an entire day for a semester. It is open to high school students who are 16 years of age or older.