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Trades showcase open to Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows high school students

The 2023 Skilled Trades Showcase Event takes place on Wednesday, Jan. 18
Caleb was a student in the SD42 metal fabrication program and worked at RXN Motorsports creating custom cars. (Special to The News)

The Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows School District is holding a Skilled Trades Showcase Event – including a breakout session on women in the trades.

After partnering with the B.C. Centre for Women In Trades, the event will also feature a separate session open to all women thinking about entering the trades and not just SD42 students.

“It’s an event to bring local business and present them and skilled trades to parents and students,” said Brad Dingler,” SD42’s trades and apprenticeship coordinator.

Many of the trades programs in SD42 will be represented including: auto service technician; construction electrician; culinary; hair dressing; horticulture; plumbing and pipe fitting; and residential construction.

Even though the event focuses on trades programs already offered by the school district, Dingler is also hoping to broaden the scope.

“I want to open it up to more industry associations, more local businesses, and have them advocate for the trades through what they can offer the community in general,” he said.

The district offers seven dedicated Trades Training programs in partnership with the B.C. Institute of Technology, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and Vancouver Community College, in addition to programs that the district cannot run directly at their facilities.

This year they are offering more than 150 first year apprenticeship seats for interested students – if students are willing to travel.

Apprenticeship training programs are available to students in the school district starting in Grades 10 and 11, although the programs are more geared towards those in Grades 11 and 12.

Students must apply to be accepted into the programs based on academic achievement, work habits, attitude, attendance, and the date of their application.

Those who already work in a trade can take part in the Youth Work in Trades Program that allows students to get practical, hands-on work experience by working in the field and attending school at the same time.

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“Really what we want to do is encourage students to explore the opportunity of trades,” said Dingler of the trade show. He is hoping in the future to grow the show, holding a day-long event with hands-on demonstrations.

Entering the program is simply another option for graduation, noted Dingler.

“It doesn’t shut any doors – in fact, it opens doors,” he said.

The 2023 Skilled Trades Showcase Event takes place from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 18, in the rotunda at Thomas Haney Secondary School, 23000 116 Ave., Maple Ridge.

Opening remarks will take place at 6 p.m., followed by an industry panel question and answer period at 6:15 p.m.. The Trades Showcase takes place from 7:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. where participants can meet the instructors and the Women in Trades Break Out Session takes place from 7:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m..

Refreshments will be provided by the PC1 Culinary class.

For more information call 604-626-1176 or 604-315-0678.

To register for the event go to

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Sofia is a student in the SD42 electrical program. (Special to The News)

Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

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