Dozens of female students were offered an insight to the many career opportunities available in the trades sector at the second annual No Limits for Girls in Trades day Thursday in Vita. Sixty-five Grade 8 girls from three school divisions including Red River Valley, Border Land and Scolaire Franco-Manitobaine school division participated in the event at Shevchenko School.
Hosted by the Red River Technical Vocational Area and Triple R Community Futures, the day is intended to introduce girls to non-traditional career choices through a variety of methods.
Hands-on projects included virtual welding, MIG welding and an obstacle course where participants raced a tri-cycle they welded. The girls also practiced using a variety of hand tools like a lathe, drill, drill press and sander, finishing off with the Nail It game, a competition involving the use of a hammer. Additionally, the group also played a lean organization game focused on creating more customer value with less resources.
The day also introduced attendees to women actively engaged in a variety of trade occupations. The list included:
Amber Penner, HR & Safety Coordinator at Penn-Lite Electrical & Mechanical Inc.
Elaine Lagasse, Red River College Automotive Mechanics Instructor
Shawnee Berg, Crane Operator with Build Together Manitoba
Polly Bergen, Employment Strategy Coordinator for Manitoba Hydro
Glenda Klassen, Gasfitter for Manitoba Hydro
and Nina Windmer, Bricklayer with Build Together Manitoba
Additional representatives from Apprenticeship Manitoba and Skills Manitoba also made an appearance.
Discussion during the mentors panel circled around:
- What Career Path did you choose and Why?
- What post-secondary education have you completed?
- Speak freely about the many aspects of your career if you do multiple tasks.
- What are the career opportunities within your chosen industry?
- What are the challenges that you encounter by working in a non-traditional trade?
- and What do you enjoy most about your career?
In addition, the day promoted the importance of career awareness and participation, and helped the female students develop an awareness of the importance of course choices at the high school level.
According to Brenda Giesbrecht, RRTVA Coordinator, student response to the event was positive with feedback like "I wish the day could have been longer!", "I enjoyed all of the hands on activities!", "Great to be able to take our projects home!" and "Had a great day!"