Sparks are flying at Lethbridge College this week as it hosts 25 students for the welding camp Mind over Metal.
The CWA Foundation funded the program and supplied full camp tuition for seven First Nations students.
The director of the foundation, Deborah Mates, believes the camp is more than just a summer past-time, but a way to give at-risk youth something positive to focus on.
“These camps are specifically designed to provide at-risk youth with an introduction the welding profession and the great career options that are available, while being supervised by professionals in a safe environment,” she explained.
Mates said the camp gets youth thinking about a possible future career.
Jerry Heck, the senior vice president of growth for CAREERS: the Next Generation, agrees.
“A camp like this puts students on a path to a rewarding career at an early age,” Heck said.
“It’s great to see how excited the students are about the welding trade by the end of the week.”
Lethbridge College is providing instructors, equipment and the facilities to the welding camp, allowing students to receive a realistic, hands-on experience.
One instructor said, while the calibre of teaching differs, sparks of excitement still fly inside the classroom.
“It’s a different level teaching young kids compared to apprentices, but I really enjoy it,” Dave Heinz said.
“I hope that it produces enough excitement in the trade that they’ll explore a trade later in life.”
Lethbridge College will welcome students to campus once more this summer.
From August 3 to 5, the college will partner with Alberta Health Services, the Rupertsland Institute, and again with CAREERS: the Next Generation, to offer a program where high school students can explore the realms of health science.