This week, Skills Ready Career Catalyst Dave Lovisa sits down with Summerland Secondary School educators Charles Lay and Nick Kast. All three were involved in Summerland’s recent hosting of a Skills Ready Showcase event, intended to connect students with potential employers from industry.
The trio open the latest Industry Interview session with a discussion on the benefits of the Showcase events and the positive influence they can have on both the student participants, as well as the school and their workshops.
“The main outcomes I felt with the students and talking with the students afterwards was the fact that they met businesses from the community,” explained Lay. “That they were able to actually talk with owners…there were people from the community that were willing to come in and see what they were up to and have an interest in them going into the trades or get into summer work…
“What you’re actually doing here [in a shop class in high school] is giving you a leg up into finding a job going forward afterwards.”
“I agree,” added Kast. “Just making that connection with employers, the intro, getting the business card, that was huge for a lot of kids. That was incredibly beneficial and valuable.”
In addition to the Skills Ready Showcase, Summerland Secondary was also the recent recipient of the Southern Interior Construction Association (SICA) Fund, used to support a variety of causes and initiatives. The Fund is managed by the Construction Foundation of BC.
“In the woodshop, we’re going to use some it to replace some of the equipment that is on its last legs, that will be a great asset.” Said Kast.
The benefits of the Showcase event come full circle with an influx of new equipment.
“We’re able to say to students, ‘Remember we had that showcase? Remember you were talking to those people? Well, this tool is a result of businesses investing in you and investing in our school.’ That has an impact.”