Lakeshore-based manufacturing giant REKO International is helping address the declining number of skilled-trades workers in the area through a partnership with Belle River District High School and the Greater Essex County District School Board.
In March of 2014 the local business announced they provide 18 students from Belle River District High School’s Precision Metal Cutting program with co-op opportunities and work experience at their Lakeshore facility.
The 16 boys and 2 girls who registered began classroom work in September to prepare them for their placements at REKO in the second semester.
Further to the original commitment, REKO has committed a contribution of additional resources including equipment and supplies to the program. They also have assigned a mentor from their facility to complement the instruction of program teacher, Mark Lokun. An added bonus, REKO is offering some students the opportunity for part-time work at their Lakeshore plant after school and on weekends.
“This partnership, an example of the high level of integration between local industry and education, will help address the shortage of skilled trade workers now and that of the predicted shortage in the future,” according to Joe Sirianni, REKO International Corporate HR Manager (pictured, right) and echoed by Dan Fister, GECDSB Superintendent for Student Success.
REKO has also helped bring Montel Plastics on board for the program. Montel will demonstrate plastic injection molding technology to the students at their Oldcastle facility.