Students get jobs right in their backyard

Students get jobs right in their backyard

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While some SOSS students may not like having a construction site in their backyard, Brad Pendlington, Jordan Molyneaux and Freddy Louie beg to differ.
These career education students are getting hands-on experience in what it’s like to work on a real jobsite. This is something they just can’t teach you in high school.
Pendlington is registered in the Secondary School Apprenticeship program as a construction electrician. The Grade 11 student is earning educational credits along with a paycheque from Keldon Electric, one of several contractors on site at SOSS. Pendlington has been doing every thing that an apprentice would do, such as putting up lighting, wiring electrical plugs, and bending pipe.
“I’m really enjoying it. I like working with my hands. You get to think a lot and problem solve.”
At age 16, Pendlington initially thought of starting a career in the military, but career education coordinator Rod Kitt got him thinking about the apprenticeship program. Now the student wants to get his journeyman ticket.
Pendlington said the most challenging part of the job as an apprentice electrician is the math, but he’s incorporating what he’s learning at school into the job.
“I’m learning how to use math in different ways (that I never did before).”
Pendlington is also learning a lot about workplace safety and all the protective equipment you have to wear. Not only can you lose your job over a safety infraction, you can lose your life.
Molyneaux is using the school’s career preparation program to explore his options. Right now he’s getting hands-on carpentry experience from main contractor Greyback Construction. The student has been building things and taking apart cement forms. He will also be pounding nails in the new “Neighbourhoods of Learning” facility being build on site.
Molyneaux got the idea to try carpentry from his father, but his first exposure to building things came from Lego. He then graduated to building rocking horses while he was in middle school.
“I just like building.”
The Grade 11 student said he wants to learn how to drive a Bobcat. Who knows, his career path may take him behind the controls of heavy equipment on construction sites.
Molyneaux agreed it’s very convenient to have a jobsite right next door to the classroom.
Kitt said Louie is learning how to be a plumber and is a “fantastic” candidate for the trade. And he’s learning the importance of showing up for work every day.
“They (the contractors) run a tight ship . . . they have a low tolerance (for employees missing days),” Kitt said.

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