A group of 29 female students from SD42 got some hands-on experience working in the heavy excavation trades for Women in Trades Day on Oct. 9. (Contributed)

Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows female students get experience with heavy machinery

29 students paid a visit to the IUOE Local 115’s Heavy Equipment Operator Training Centre in Maple Ridge

A group of female students from the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District had the opportunity to try out heavy machinery as part of Young Women In Trades Day.

The 29 girls went to the IUOE Local 115’s Heavy Equipment Operator Training Centre along 256 Street in Maple Ridge to get some hands-on experience working in the heavy excavation trades.

The training site features more than 40 acres with real-life, hands-on access to more than 25 pieces of equipment used in the field and realistic job site conditions.

“The idea was to get more female students interested in the heavy excavation trades, which is actually quite a good trade to get into because the training is only 12 weeks, but it pays very well,” explained Steve Wiebe, principal of alternate partnerships and work experience programs for School District No. 42.

Also on hand was Minister of Advanced Education Melanie Mark.

Wiebe said the ratio to girls and boys who enter the trades at the high school level is changing.

“We have some carpentry classes now that are almost 50 per cent female,” he said.

Wiebe suggested girls in trades are conscientious and listen to instructions well. They have also shown the fine motor skills required to operate heaving equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Wiebe said the idea of the visit was to plant a seed about what is possible and he is hoping the district can create a partnership for next year.

“It’s great because you can do it in your Grade 12 year. It’s a 12-week program and then, boom, you are literally ready to work on an excavator and the money is very good,” he said with jobs at $25 to $35 an hour to start.

“And then if you ever go into cranes, you are making six figures,” he said.

Most of the work is unionized with medical and dental benefits and the pay is based on meritocracy.

And, Wiebe said, if you are a woman who wants to start a family, the work is ideal.

“You can take time off between projects to look after your kids. There’s benefits and you are not dependent on another partner for income,” he added.

Female students can also take advantage of a mentorship program.

“It’s a really great opportunity to make a good living,” said Wiebe.

• Anyone interested in the trades can contact Steve Wiebe at 604-318-9792 or Brad Dingler at 604-626-1176.

Just Posted

Vibrant alco-inks one of many mediums for sale at club’s annual show

Garibaldi Art Club’s fall show and sale to feature 220 works of art

UPDATE: Arrest made in Maple Ridge purse-snatching incidents, another for fraud

Man and woman, both 34 and from Maple Ridge, facing charges.

Maple Ridge women’s shelter society gets a $2.1-million boost

Cythera Transition House Society gets money for 21 homes

Maple Ridge councillors named to local groups

Division of labour for new council

Clear skies for Fraser Blues Remembrance Day flyby

It was the first time the formation team flew over the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows Remembrance Day ceremonies

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Letters shed light on state of mind of B.C. mom accused of daughter’s murder

Trial of South Surrey mother Lisa Batstone begins in BC Supreme Court

Most Read