NDSS Starts Electrical Program Thanks To PELA CFDC
New teacher Marc Virgo, only a few short years removed from a full time position as an electrician in Northern Ontario was looking for a career change and he found it at Napanee District Secondary School in the heart of Lennox and Addington. In order to complete his career change Marc completed his Diploma of Education from Queens University.
While on placement at LCVI, Marc met Program Leader Mike Sewell who was able to match up Marc and NDSS with Technology Director, Dave Brinkman. Marc?s skill set in electrical and automations were the perfect fit for a Napanee program that was about to take on a major face lift and change in focus.
Unfortunately through attrition the program at the time was not only short a teacher it
also lacked the necessary hand tools and test equipment needed to deliver the specialized electrical content. Mike contacted Craig Desjardins.
Craig is the Executive Director of the Prince Edward/Lennox & Addington Community Futures Development Corporation (PELA CFDC). PELA CFDC is a non-profit organization, which helps organizations like NDSS and small businesses introduce skill development programs as well as other initiatives. Along with grants and loans they also provide advice, counselling, and assistance in constructing a business plan, free of charge.
A grant was awarded to NDSS and Communications Technology ? Electrical ? Residential program was created. The funds were used to purchase new equipment and materials to create an electrical lab. Marc along with the help of his students turned an old classroom into their learning playground. NDSS through continued effort and collaboration is the proud host of the only true electrical lab in all of Eastern Ontario.
?The class was well received by the students? says Marc ?we had 22 students register for the pilot program and we hope to be at capacity of 25 students next year.? Marc anticipates female students will also start showing interest. The current all male students were very supportive of the prospect of having girls in the program. Of the 22 students 8 plan to continue in the electrical field either through direct apprenticeship after graduation or to attend college. Marc is cur
rently working on building further relationships with local businesses and looks forward to providing additional co-op opportunities in the future.
?It is great to see our students have the opportunity to develop these skills here at NDSS? says Mike. ?We are losing too many of our youth to the west or to the south who leave here seeking employment elsewhere, but now we can provide them with the viable skills necessary to become employable in a field they love. By doing so the likely hood of them staying within the county to live and work is greatly increased. Hopefully when they become certified and have their own businesses they will be able to hire on apprentices from this program which in turn will create a positive cycle that will benefit the entire community. If it wasn?t for the joint efforts of PELA and the CFDC this program would likely never have been achievable.?
For more information on how PELA CFDC can help your current or new business or organization you can contact one of our friendly and resourceful staff at either of our two convenient locations.