Niagara Catholic Launches 2015 Technology Skills Competition

Niagara Catholic’s 12th Annual Technology Skills Competition will take place on Tuesday, March 10 and Wednesday, March 11, at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls.

The move to the Scotiabank Centre from Seaway Mall was prompted by the need for a larger space, as approximately 300 students are expected to compete in a number of different categories throughout the day. The winners from the various events will compete at the Skills Ontario competition at RIM Park in Waterloo in May.

On February 4, Niagara Catholic held a launch event at the Scotiabank Centre, which focused on the importance the skilled trades to Niagara’s economy, and the importance of ensuring students know that there are many diverse, satisfying and well-paying career opportunities in the trades.

Ivana Galante, Niagara Catholic’s Business, Technology, SHSM and Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program Consultant, who is also a licensed machinist, spoke about the many opportunities afforded to her as she combined a university education with a Red Seal certification in machining.

Her comments were echoed by Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates, a former leader of CAW Local 199 and a strong advocate for schools to promote skilled trade apprenticeships as strongly as they promote other post-secondary education.

“We all know that the demand for skilled workers over the next number of years will provide an opportunity for good-paying jobs, right here in Niagara,” he said. “Choosing to enter a skilled trade provides an opportunity for a young adult – both men and women – to gain meaningful employment in the future.”

Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati, who confessed his greatest skill around the house is to call a professional when work needs done, credited Niagara Catholic for its commitment to ensuring that all students have enriching experiences both during their high school years, as well as in their working lives.

“You really get it,” he said.

Director of Education John Crocco said he is always impressed by the skills and knowledge acquired by students who choose to consider a path towards work in the skilled trades.  He said it is particularly important to recognize that the education that students who choose a career in the trades is every bit as stringent as students who follow an academic path to university, noting many of these students find excellent career opportunities quickly.

As part of the launch, Niagara Catholic accepted a $2,500 cheque from Mark Cherney Mark Cherney, representing the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 303, to offset the cost of the competition. Another $3,000 was presented by Nick Ciccone and Ricardo Persi from the Labourers International Union of North America (LIUNA).

The public is invited to attend the 12th Annual Niagara Catholic Technology Skills Competition on March 10, to see our students in action. Awards will be presented on March 11, following a celebration banquet, which will include keynote addresses by Dr. Dan Patterson, President of Niagara College, and former Ontario Premier and MP the Hon. Bob Rae.

View scenes from the 2014 Niagara Catholic Technology Skills Competition.

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