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Skilled trades showcase coming to Maple Ridge

More than 40 companies and organizations attending SD42 event
Krysta Taylor, parts and accessories manager with GA Checkpoint Motorsports, right, talks with Brady Yardley, 16, a Grade 11 student at Samuel Robertson Technical, who was at the trades show with his father Curtis Yardley last year. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)

A showcase of skilled trades is coming to Maple Ridge.

The annual event being held by the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows School District will have more than 40 companies and organizations as part of the show – plus a special women in trades session.

Students across the district can learn how to become an auto service technician, a carpenter, electrician, hairdresser, professional cook, landscaper, metal fabricator, plumber, and more.

Companies like Seaspan, Lafarge, Parkland Fuel Corporation, Bosa Construction, and others will be represented.

“Some major, major companies,” said Brad Dingler, coordinator of the train and work in trades programs with SD42.

Some companies will be there for the very first time including a tool supplier company, joining other local companies like Pitt Meadows Plumbing and Mechanical Systems, who have supported the showcase event in previous years.

Last year between 400 to 500 people attended the event.

This year, they already have 210 single student registrations, not including parents who might attend.

Dingler noted, the event is not so much a hiring fair but a showcase of the trades available to students. He would like to see students interact with representatives from the attending companies and have lots of questions about what trades are available to them.

It’s about making connections and networking, he said.

Dingler believes that skilled trades are becoming more popular as a career choice because the “cost benefit analysis for a university degree is no longer there.”

“And that’s the hardened truth of it,” he added.

He said that when someone finishes a first year trade, they can, for example, revamp a bathroom. He compared that result to finishing the first year of a university degree and asked what the student is qualified to do.

READ MORE: Hundreds attend a skilled trades information night in Maple Ridge

And, he added, there is the opportunity to excel at an accelerated rate – advancing quickly through the ranks to managerial positions.

“So the opportunity to achieve more faster is there,” he said.

This event, said Dingler, will offer students the chance to find out about careers they have never even heard of before.

ALSO: High school trades workers compete at Westview Secondary

Parkland Fuel Corporation, for example, is located in Burnaby and employs almost 5,000 people, and Seaspan has a federal contract to build the biggest ship ever built on Canadian soil in North Vancouver.

“It’s those opportunities that students don’t get to see,” he said.

The SD42 Trades Showcase Event takes place Tuesday, Jan. 30, at Thomas Haney Secondary School, 23000 116 Avenue, Maple Ridge.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m..

To register for the event go to or see the school’s career centre.

Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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