MONTREAL, APRIL 4, 2012 – A number of high school students from both the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) and the Lester B. Pearson School Board (LBPSB) got the opportunity to explore several post-secondary vocational training and career options during a two-day exchange field trip on March 28 and 29.
On March 28, about 75 high school students from the Lester B. Pearson School Board paid a visit to the Rosemount Technology Centre (RTC). They were divided up into four separate groups and attended sessions that dealt with four of RTC’s vocational training programs: Cabinetmaking/Furniture Finishing, Machine Techniques/CNC, Computer Graphics/Digital Layout and Printing, and Welding & Fitting/Electromechanics. The students were told about what each program was about, the curriculum and their respective employment and career opportunities after completing the course of study.
As well, in most cases, they found out the process of how a product goes from the concept to manufacturing the final product through some live demonstrations and actual hands-on exercises thanks to the guidance of RTC’s instructors and students. For example, they learned how to design and produce a two-color memo pad, from creating the design, to making a plate, to printing and finishing the pad. Each student got to take home a copy of the memo pad they helped put together, along with other samples they got to work on at the other three stations (i.e., a square made of two copper pipes soldered together, two pieces of steel welded together, a manufactured machine piece, etc.).
The following day, students from four EMSB high schools (Westmount, James Lyng in St. Henri, Perspectives II in St. Michel and Programme Mile End) took part in an Explo Regional Activity at two separate LBPSB career centres.
About 50 students from James Lyng, Perspectives II and Programme Mile End visited the Pearson Electrotechnology Centre (PEC) in Lachine, where they learned about three vocational training programs: Computing Support, Interior Decorating and Design (IDD) and Installation and Repair of Telecommunications Equipment. About 60 students from James Lyng, Perspectives II and Westmount High School went to the Pearson Adult and Career Centre (PACC) in LaSalle to explore their Pastry, Food and Beverage, and Butchery programs.
The visiting students were given an introduction to the vocational programs through student testimonials and were told what each program entails in regards to workload and entry requirements. They were also given an interactive, hands-on exercise to do, whether it be troubleshooting computer problems, installing and terminating a cable TV compression connector using a piece of coaxial cable, making chocolate truffles (and learning the legendary secret of the Caramilk bar), how to elegantly set and decorate a table for a formal gathering, and how to cut, prepare and create different types of meat and poultry products.
After their respective visits, the students remarked that visiting the different vocational and career programs were informative, and noted how friendly and helpful the instructors and students were when they did the interactive exercises. Some of them also stated that as a result of their visits, they are seriously considering applying to some of the programs that were showcased (i.e., welding & fitting, telecommunications, and food & beverage).