Division News

Division News

Youth to try welding at unique summer camp

Posted on July 5

Young people from two communities in the Wood Buffalo Region will be working with metal this summer at Keyano College as part of the Canadian Welding Association Foundation (CWA Foundation) Mind Over Metal welding camp from July 10-14.

The CWA Foundation hosted its first pilot welding camp in the summer of 2014 in Edmonton to introduce students from ages 12-15 to the trade. This summer, the CWA Foundation will be funding over 35 camps across Canada.

The Fort McMurray camp will see a group of students attending from Janvier (Father R. Perin School) and Fort McKay (Fort McKay School) and is being held in partnership with Keyano College, Trans Canada Pipelines, CENOVUS, and Northland School Division.

“These camps are specifically designed to provide at-risk youth with an introduction into the welding profession and the great career options that are available, while being supervised by professionals in a safe environment,” said Deborah Mates, Director of the CWA Foundation.

“I’ve observed a very high level of student engagement, learning, and quality projects in the CWA camps that Northland students have participated in the past two summers,” observed Randy Chernipeski of Northland School Division.   

"We are pleased to support an exciting hands-on learning opportunity for our students," Gord Atkinson, Superintendent of Schools. "In previous camps hosted by Canadian Welding Association Foundation, the level of engagement from Northland students was very high. It's an opportunity for students think about a future career before stepping into high school."

The Canadian welding industry has many great career opportunities ranging from welder, welding inspector, welding researcher, and even a welding engineer.

“Keyano College is a strong supporter and champion of skills development for Canadian youth. We believe that early exposure to career opportunities through programs like the Canadian Welding Association Foundation’s Mind Over Metal Summer Welding Camp—will inspire and motivate young people to pursue lucrative careers in trade and technology disciplines,” said Peter Lawlor, Dean, School of Trades and Heavy Industrial, Keyano College

Students cover many topics including welding safety, gas metal arc welding (GMAW), introduction to weld symbols, and a brief overview of the impact welding has on our daily lives while participating in the camp. Once the theoretical part is completed, the students will practice and learn on professional grade equipment with real arcs and sparks while they create their very own projects like metal bells, and business card holders.

“It’s going to open up a lot of possibilities to the students because this is such a unique opportunity. It’s going to be hands-on and fun, so when they finish they’ll have great memories and hopefully feel inspired to pursue a career in the welding profession,” said Mates. “We are excited to be able to bring this opportunity to the Provinces and expose youth to something they may never have imagined.”

“The support from industry, parents, and particularly Keyano College in allowing us to use their facilities is quite remarkable,” said Mates. “This is just one of many outreach projects throughout the country the Foundation has planned for this year.”

The Foundation’s key mandates are to support public safety awareness, and to address the skilled welding labour shortage in Canada. It will also focus on creating access to educational opportunities for all levels of education from elementary through to post- secondary, as well as aboriginal peoples, women, those with disabilities and visible minorities.