The Red River Technical Vocational Area (RRTVA) honoured the many businesses and organizations that have partnered with its High School Apprenticeship Program (HSAP) over the years, during its first-ever Partner's in Education celebration Wednesday in Winkler. 

On top of representatives from these various partners, the four RRTVA superintendents from Western, Garden Valley, Border Land & Red River Valley School Divisions attended, along with some trustees. 

"We are just honoring businesses that have been working with us over the number of years," explained Reg Toews, a member of the HSAP team. "Students have been working at these businesses and have had opportunity to learn about a trade and grow in that learning. Many students have become Red Seal trained and now are training others that are coming into the program. So, businesses have contributed significantly by hiring these people and we want to show gratitude today for that."

Reg Toews, a member of the HSAP teamReg Toews, a member of the HSAP team

Toews says he can think of a few success stories. 

"I can think of some examples where students, let's say were at risk of dropping out, caught a vision of a trade, finished high school and now are significant contributors to these businesses in the community in ways of being mechanics or construction or even in supervisory roles. So, they're now giving back."

Having worked with HSAP for 13 years, Toews said the relationship between him, and the various partners is one of give-and-take. 

His hope is that through HSAP, the Red River area can be known as a place that people can come to get trained, where our general skill level increases every year (and) that there's students always looking to be trained further and become experts in their in their fields. 

By the end of each June, Toews says about 200 students have enrolled in HSAP throughout the school year.

Director for the Red River Technical Vocational Area (RRTVA) Lane Curry Director for the Red River Technical Vocational Area (RRTVA) Lane Curry 

With files from Robyn Wiebe