A huge donation will be putting local students a step ahead before they get into the trades industry.
 
Students from Fort Saskatchewan High School will soon have access to a new state-of-the-art trades centre, thanks to an innovative partnership between Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) and Shell Canada.
 
Slated to open at the start of the 2018-19 school year and fully funded by Shell Canada, the $200,000 Shell Skills Centre will allow Fort High to introduce new courses and programming to students pursuing careers in the trades, particularly in welding and electro-technology.
 
Some of the features the centre will include an augmented-reality training lab equipped with three virtual welder machines, eight electro-technology workstations, a 3D printer and various industry-standard tools, circuit boards and electric motors.
 
“We’re so excited about this project and this partnership because it illustrates what can be accomplished when organizations work together,” said Trina Boymook, the Board Chair of EIPS.
 
“Students can select the most appropriate equipment and tools for the different scenarios and complexity in a simulated and safe environment. That’s a huge advantage for them. When they graduate, they’ll have both the skills and experience needed to meet current industry demands,” said Jeff Spady, principal of Fort Saskatchewan High.
 
“For us, this partnership with EIPS is about fueling the future generation of skilled trade workers in the industrial heartland. The new centre gives our youth more opportunities for hands-on learning experiences, helps meet our future demands and creates educational and economic opportunity for our community—it’s a win-win," said Doug Loree, maintenance manager at Shell Scotford.
 
Mentorship is also playing a leading role at the new Shell Skills Centre. Students enrolled in the program will have ongoing access to trade experts such as welders, electricians, pipefitters and millwrights.
 
Together with Fort High teachers, they will guide, train and expose students to real-life situations through hands-on learning.

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