May 19, 2024

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Igniting passion for electrician careers: Skills Ontario empowers Indigenous youth, women

3 min read
Igniting passion for electrician careers: Skills Ontario empowers Indigenous youth, women

Recent Tools for Success events include hands-on workshops, panel discussion

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – It can be hard for young people to decide what to do with their futures, especially in today’s uncertain job climate. But Skills Ontario has an answer for some. The provincial employment program is collaborating with Sault College in Sault Ste. Marie, and with industrial manufacturer Tenaris, to inspire youth to consider careers as electricians – a field currently in demand.

Last week, these partner organizations hosted two Tools for Success events for youth at Tenaris’ Sault Ste. Marie plant. The first event, on the morning of April 25, gathered Indigenous youth to learn about the electrician trade through a hands-on workshop led by Jon Pasiak, the college’s coordinator of electrical programs, followed by a panel discussion. The following day saw a similar workshop aimed at young women. Each event also included a tour of the Tenaris facility.

“By trying this skilled trade, we hope youth participating in the Tools for Success event last week see that becoming an electrician is a rewarding career and are inspired to pursue that career further,” said Ashley Cuglietta, Skills Ontario’s senior manager of diversity, equity, inclusion, and Indigenous relations, as quoted in a press release from Enterprise Canada.

Cuglietta added that the events at Tenaris had sent attendees home with the knowledge they needed to start a journey to electrical apprenticeship. “Skills Ontario is grateful for all the support Sault College and Tenaris have provided in making this event possible,” she said.

Tools for Success is a series of live events designed to educate underrepresented people across Ontario on the use of tools, skilled trades, technology careers, and other in-demand careers in the construction industry. Organized by Skills Ontario’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) department, Tools for Success is targeted primarily at youth at risk, youth below the poverty line, people of colour, immigrants, and disabled youth.

Last week’s workshops in Sault Ste. Marie marked the first time that the DE&I department had collaborated with Skills Ontario’s Young Women’s Initiatives on Tools for Success events.

Martin Castro, president of Tenaris in Canada, noted in the release that his company is glad to open its doors to youth to demonstrate the vital role that electricians play in advanced manufacturing facilities.

“We’re proud to partner on initiatives such as Tools for Success,” said Castro, adding that such programs “provide youth with a unique opportunity to gain insights, [to] get an up-close look at the career they’re aspiring to be in action, and to better understand the opportunities for growth and development these careers offer.”

According to Corey Meunier, Sault College’s dean of technology, trades, and apprenticeship, last week’s events highlighted both education and careers in the electrical trades, while showcasing how the college supports learning in this field.

“Sault College is a great place to ignite a passion for skilled trades,” Meunier said in the release, elaborating that the institute offers post-secondary education in the electrical field and delivers in-school apprenticeship training for the construction and industrial-electrician trades.

“We look forward to fostering exploration and learning through this event,” said Meunier.

Founded in 1989, Skills Ontario delivers programs and events with the goal of inspiring young people to explore skilled trades and technologies. The organization offers further information about its programs on its website.


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