KEC grads shining bright

By: Matt Wiebe, MLA for Concordia

As published in The Herald

October 18, 2017

Fall is here and a new school year has begun.

Many students are now well into their busy schedules learning different skills. Here in Concordia, students are receiving hands-on experience by learning a new trade or skill in one of many vocational programs.

I often hear from parents they want to make sure their children have the practical skills they need to be successful. One way to support this is by expanding skills training in our high schools, like the expansions to the auto body and culinary arts programs at Kildonan East Collegiate (KEC) undertaken a couple years ago. I have personally witnessed the benefits these vocational programs have provided to students. Many students’ careers have taken off after pursuing a trade and one student in particular is a KEC grad, Ashley Webber.

Ashley started her career at KEC attending their Auto Body Technician and Automotive Painting Program. After winning gold provincially and then nationally at skills competitions the past two years, Ashley qualified to be a member of World Skills Team Canada and recently went to the International Skills Competition in Abu Dhabi.

Ashley is currently attending Red River College, where she plans on completing her apprenticeship to receive her red seal certification. Since many young women have yet to explore a non-traditional career in trades, Ashley can be considered a local inspiration and I’d like to wish Ashley all the best in her future endeavours.

I was proud to be part of a previous government that believed increasing options and putting forward more high quality training could lead directly into skilled employment. We chose to invest over $10 million in technical training and equipment upgrades in schools between 2004 and 2015 including at KEC.

Efforts to encourage learning and expose young Manitobans to various skills should continue to be a priority. I hope to see KEC’s vocational model adopted in other high schools across Manitoba.

Feel free to call my office anytime at 204-654-1857 or email me at