Lakeland parts apprentice wins 2015 Top Apprentice Award

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May 25, 2016
Lakeland College apprentice, Mason Mehl, is among the best of the best Alberta apprentices
Mehl was recognized as the province’s top parts technician apprentice and was one of only 58 apprentices to receive a 2015 Top Apprentice Award. This marks the eighth time a Lakeland parts technician apprentice has won this provincial award. 

“This is a well-deserved accomplishment for Mason and we are quite proud of him,” says Randy Hobbis, Lakeland College instructor. “Mason would be in class studying an hour before class started. He’s a personable, skilled and top-notch journeyman.”

Presented by the Government of Alberta’s Ministry of Advanced Education, Mehl was honoured at the annual Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board Awards on April 15.

“It was lots of fun and really nice to see that when people put in an honest effort they are able to achieve their goals and be recognized,” says Mehl, of Oyen, Alta.

To achieve his goal of becoming a parts technician, Mehl enrolled in Lakeland’s apprenticeship program. He completed three periods of technical training at the Vermilion campus as well as the required 4,500 hours of on-the-job training. Excelling in his studies at Lakeland, Mason was one of the recipients of the Trades Staff Award, which is awarded to the top graduating apprentice student in each program based on leadership, enthusiasm and academic ability.

“It was pretty incredible at Lakeland to see that the instructors weren’t only willing to help you succeed but, on top of that, they were willing to help you excel. They wanted to see everyone reach their full potential not only at college but in life,” says Mehl. “You could tell they all genuinely cared about the students. I’d like to thank the instructors at Lakeland because without them we wouldn’t be able to learn and achieve our goals.”

Alberta’s annual Top Apprentice Award honours apprentices in each trade who achieved the highest overall marks in their final period of training, and received strong employer recommendations. Mehl credits Rocky Mountain Equipment – his employer of 10 years – for supporting him throughout his apprenticeship and on the job today.

“They’re a great business because they want everyone to get the education and training they need to do their work well,” says Mehl. “I am very fortunate to be able to be employed with them and have their support. Rocky Mountain Equipment has 39 stores so if you can’t find the answer at your own branch, we’re all linked together and someone at a different branch will have an answer.”

Though Mehl is now a journeyman, he says he’s still learning something new every day on the job.

“One of the best things about this trade is that it’s never boring. It’s very seasonal with the line of work that I am doing in ag equipment,” says Mehl, who has a farming background and training in agricultural mechanics. “Being able to help someone with equipment problems is what I enjoy the most, that way they can continue with their work and be able to support their families once we help them out.”

Parts technician is one of nine apprenticeship trades offered at Lakeland College’s Trades Centre at the Vermilion campus. Lakeland also offers periods one and three of the parts technician program online. To learn more about the School of Trades and Technology Apprenticeship, visit

Photos: Top, Mason Mehl (centre) accepted the 2015 Top Apprentice Award for the parts technician category in April from the Government of Alberta’s Ministry of Advanced Education. Mehl says he’s grateful for the support he received at Lakeland College and from Rocky Mountain Equipment.

May 25, 2016