Lakeland apprentices crowned best of the best

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May 1, 2017
Three Lakeland College apprentices have been named among the top apprentices in Alberta
Carpenter Devon Froland, parts technician Samantha Niedzielski and heavy duty technician – transport trailer mechanic Dean Coulson were each honoured with a 2016 Top Apprentice Award during the 20th annual Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board Awards on April 21. They were among 62 recipients to be recognized for their level of skill and dedication to their trade. Dean Coulson top apprentice 2016
“On behalf of Lakeland College, I congratulate Devon, Samantha and Dean for their leadership and excellence as skilled tradespersons,” says Dave King, dean of the School of Trades & Technology. “We are proud of their outstanding accomplishments and know they will continue to excel in their respective trades.”
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.

Niedzielski, a parts technician at Dennill’s Agricenter in Dewberry, Alta., was surprised to receive the provincial accolade. “It’s going to take a while for it to sink in that it’s a provincial award,” she says.

Samantha Niedzielski top apprentice 2016For Froland, being a Top Apprentice recipient is one of several accomplishments he’s achieved in the trade. He was presented with the Alberta Construction Association Top Carpenter Award during the banquet and last year he started his own carpentry business – Froland Contracting. He’s also on track to finish building his first home in Amisk, Alta., before summer.

“I have to give a lot of credit for my work ethic to my boss at Holte Builders Ltd., and Lakeland College,” he says. “Lakeland offers a lot more hands-on training and you definitely learn a lot. I always recommend Lakeland to others and not just to people interested in being carpenters.”

Dean Coulson credits his 2016 Top Apprentice honour to hard work, studying and the instructors he learned from at Lakeland. “They were awesome, they know what they’re doing and are very helpful,” he says. “I just feel like you get the best education at Lakeland.”

Lakeland provides training for nine Alberta apprenticeship programs at the Vermilion campus.Devon Froland top apprentice 2016

Approximately 68,000 apprentices participate in Alberta’s apprenticeship and industry training system. 
Photos: From the top, Dean Coulson, Samantha Niedzielski and Devon Froland were both recognized as 2016 Top Apprentices on April 21.