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Students get real work experience

Ivana Pelisek | Interrobang | News | February 8th, 2010



Thirteen students from the Construction Specialist High Skills Major program had the opportunity to step out of their normal classroom atmosphere and participate in a tour of an institutional construction site, courtesy EllisDon Corporation and the Richard Ivey School of Business.

On January 21, 2010, Chad Callander and Chantelle Diachina, two students in the corporate communication and public relations program at Fanshawe College participated in the tour in order to receive more insight about their future careers post college.

Chad Callander, right, and Chantelle Diachina on an EllisDon Corporation work site as part of a hands on work experience.“The tour we recently took was a once in a lifetime opportunity first hand to put our skills at work...preparing both beforehand in contacting media outlets and after by releasing a story and information to the media,” said Callander. “As well, promoting our organization and its goals throughout the process.”

Scott Vording, an EllisDon corporation site superintendent, was on site providing participating students with the overall construction process, beginning at the site's foundation stage.

“Ever since I began the placement in January my eyes have become wide open to the opportunities that are out there. Thanks to my placement Elgin, Middlesex, and Oxford Local Training Board I have been able to put my skills to work...not just answering phones or making copies but preparing presentations, press releases and being allowed to give my input in meetings,” said Callander.

In a release, Vording stated that at this point the site is, “50 per cent excavated,” with the completion date being set to March 2011.

The project began mid September 2009.

Vording also took the chance to explain, in full detail, all safety precautions students must be aware of while visiting the site while also highlighting the project is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold project. Students who took part in this opportunity will now have a broader range of options after completion of their post-secondary studies.

“For the future it means that I will have real work to show employers...that I do have some experience in my field and an excellent reference to show that the work has been completed. It does not make my future certain but gives me a great chance to continue to build on my skills and gain some invaluable knowledge,” said Callander.

The trip was organized by local Passport to Prosperity Coordinator Kathryn Tull, with a mandate to connect and build partnerships with employers and educators, in turn being allotted to further provide learning opportunities beyond the classroom.

The SHSM criteria are to fit the reach ahead experience component for all students involved. Passport to Prosperity is a program supported by the Ministry of Education.
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