A group of high school students from regional schools kickstarted their trades training this summer at Lakeland College.
The career and technology studies (CTS) program
offers high schoolers the opportunity to explore different career options so they have a better idea of what they would like to pursue in post-secondary before graduating high school.
Skylar Dary, a Grade 11 student from J.R. Robson School, returned to the Vermilion campus to work on the welding skills he’d first learned during the CTS program last year.
“I decided to take the CTS welding course because I’m thinking of becoming a trade welder and making a living off that one day,” Dary explains. “I’m having a lot of fun. The instructor is great and he knows what he’s doing. I’m planning to come to Lakeland after high school so I don’t have to leave home.”
This summer, students were able to experience both automotive and welding training. Throughout the year, students also have the opportunity to take carpentry, electrical, interior design, fire fighting and cosmetology. The CTS program is a collaboration between Buffalo Trail Public Schools (BTPS) and Lakeland College. Since it began over 15 years ago, it has expanded from 25 students to over 250, with students attending from J.R. Robson in Vermilion, Kitscoty, Chauvin, Edgerton, Marwayne and Innisfree.
Rhae-Ann Holoien, superintendent for BTPS, visited the program in August to tour Lakeland’s facilities and chat with faculty and students about their experiences.
“I am extremely impressed with all the opportunities I saw here,” she says. “Lakeland College has always been one of those places that other colleges aspire to be. The fact that our students at BTPS have the opportunity to participate in these programs is incredible for our rural area and the students as well.”
Gage Wolfe, a Grade 10 student form Kitscoty High School, already had a clear idea of what he wanted to study before attending the CTS program this summer, and the experience only solidified those intentions.
“I’ve always been a big car guy, ever since I was a little kid,” Wolfe explains. “My dad is a car guy too. I want to be just like my dad. I’ve learned a lot of new things at Lakeland and it’s been a pretty good experience. The opportunity to come here and learn from these guys with their endless amount of knowledge is awesome. I definitely want to take more mechanics at Lakeland in the future. It’s an awesome school. My mom and my sister both went here and I am going to try to follow in their footsteps.”
Schools who participate in the CTS program throughout the year include Delnorte School, Dewberry School, Dr. Folkins Community School, E.H. Walter School, Edgerton Public School, Hughendon School, Irma School, J.R. Robson School, Kitscoty JR/SR High School, Mannville School, Marwayne Jubilee School, Provost Public School, Wainwright High School and Vermilion Outreach School.
Photos: Top: Gage Wolfe works on detailing a care. Middle: Skylar Dary shows off his welding skills. Bottom: BTPS Superintendent Rhae-Ann Holoien learns about the electrical skills taught during CTS sessions.