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Assiniboine’s ‘trades in a box’ bring skilled trades education to Indigenous communities

Assiniboine’s ‘trades in a box’ bring skilled trades education to Indigenous communities

Written On: 05 September, 2018
Category: Community Provincial Trades

Three new trailers that Assiniboine Community College has coined as ‘trades in a box’ are ready to roll off campus and into Indigenous communities across Manitoba starting today.

The trailers will each house equipment required to provide hands-on education in either carpentry, electrical, or piping trades.
 
“Indigenous partners continue to express enthusiasm and a strong need for construction trades training in their communities,” said Assiniboine President Mark Frison. “These trailers allow us to build on the success we’ve seen in the past offering programs beyond our campuses by providing increased flexibility and additional resources.”
 
The trailers were made possible through $150,000 in funding from Western Economic Diversification (WD), the federal government’s regional economic development agency. This funding covered 50 per cent of the total cost for the project.
 
“The college’s Indigenization Strategy calls on us as a college to increase participation rates for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students, both on campus and by extending educational opportunities to regions that don’t have permanent post-secondary venues,” said Kris Desjarlais, Director of Indigenous Education at Assiniboine.
 
The carpentry trailer will soon make its way to Peguis First Nation where it will make its debut and be used for two intakes of Applied Building Construction running mid-September until fall 2019.
 
“Peguis has a developed a long-term relationship [with Assiniboine] that we appreciate and respect for their willingness and contribution they make in working with our Indigenous community,” said Pam Favel, Program Manager with Peguis First Nation Training & Employment.
 
“In the past, it has been a challenge to purchase the required capital equipment for various programs but with the acquisition of these new trailers, it will make it much easier to bring accredited community-based training opportunities to our community.
 
“We are witness to much greater success rates in community-based training and we look forward to our continued work ahead with the Assiniboine Community College!
 
The college has developed five-month-long applied trades programs for each of the three trailers: Applied Building Construction, Applied Electrical Installation and Applied Plumbing Installation.
 
The programs contain a balance of theory and hands-on training and go through the Apprenticeship Manitoba accreditation process each time they are delivered for Level 1 in-school pre-employment training. There are also shorter duration programs the college has created including Residential Framing and Residential Plumbing.
 
The college has also developed an academic preparation component for these trades programs. Graduates of programs with the academic preparation added will also achieve a Mature Student High School Diploma if they entered the program without a grade 12 diploma.  
 
“Outfitting a trades shop for these programs in communities can be cost prohibitive,” said Frison. “These trailers give us the opportunity to provide cost-effective training for our partners and allow us to bring into the community what’s essentially a ‘trade in a box’.”
 
This past academic year, Assiniboine has offered programming in more than two dozen communities across Manitoba including Residential Framing in Sioux Valley First Nation and Applied Building Construction in Waywayseecappo First Nation.

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