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Matt Wiebe, MLA Concordia
December 6, 2017

Ashley Webber

I rise today to recognize Ashley Webber, a Kildonan East Collegiate graduate and exceptional young woman who continues to smash any stereotypes about women in the trades. Ashley is a phenom in the art of auto body repair, and her raw talent in painting cars has taken her to competitions locally, nationally and now internationally, allowing her to shine at multiple levels.

Ashley always knew she wanted to paint cars, but her career started in earnest at Kildonan East Collegiate while attending their Auto Body Technician and Automotive Painting Program. Ashley’s teacher, Dan Labossier, recognized Ashley’s talent of car painting and her dedication to perfection. Although she wasn’t sure about competing in provincials in grade 11, Dan and other teachers encouraged her and ensured that she was one of the schools candidates who were chosen to go to provincials in her grade 12 year in 2015.

After winning gold provincially and then nationally at skills competitions in 2015 and 2016, Ashley qualified to be a member of the World Skills Team Canada for 2017. Preparing for Worlds, Ashley attended an international competition in Australia this past July where she finished 3rd.

After this strong finish, Ashley travelled across the world to Abu Dhabi in October where she represented Canada in the International Skills Competition, competing against people from 25 other countries. Mr. Labossier has been with Ashley every step of the way as both her coach and mentor for worlds. His investment and devotion in teaching Ashley, and all students at KEC is truly admirable.

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 has been a local inspiration. Her dedication to her skill, her positive attitude, and her accomplishments over the past three years are truly remarkable.

After personally witnessing the benefits these high quality vocational programs provide to students, there is no doubt that we should continue to support expansions in skills and trade training in our high schools.

You have made Manitoba and Canada proud Ashley. Please join me today in welcoming and congratulating Ashley, her parents, and her coach Dan.