Ontario Local’s Scholarship Award Forges School Board Alliance
January 24, 2014
The best apprenticeship programs depend upon students who are well-prepared at the secondary education level for success in the academic rigors of the electrical trade.
Hamilton,Ontario, Local 105 isn’t leaving the quality of that secondary education to chance. Two years ago—after a brainstorming session at the union hall—the local’s leaders decided to join with signatory contractors to donate tools to better train high school students interested in electrical careers and to offer awards for worthy students.
More than $5,000 in Ridgid-brand tools and electrical conduit were donated to the Halton District School Board by Local 105 and the Electrical Contractors Association of Hamilton.
In June, the IBEW announced that Ian MacDonald, a student at M.M. Robinson High School in Burlington—one of 12 applicants—was the recipient of the IBEW Local 105/ECAH Apprenticeship Award. Students are required to have an 80 percent overall mark in electrical courses, grade 12 math and English proficiency and a good attendance record to qualify for immediate entry into the local’s apprenticeship program after passing its aptitude test.
“Ian really wanted to be an electrician,” says Assistant Business Manager Steve Fox. “Local 105 and our contractors got a fantastic apprentice and Ian got a great career.”
The scholarship program received favorable press in insideHalton.com. ““We now want to spread the program to all six school boards in our jurisdiction,” says Fox. A meeting has already been held with the Hamilton School Board to discuss implementation of a similar award.
“Engaging students in technological education programs is one of the most important factors in creating tomorrow’s highly-skilled workforce. This generous donation and support by IBEW Local 105 will go a long way in creating an engaging environment for our students at the same time as creating a very positive partnership between education and the workplace,” David Lewis, coordinator of technological education and pathways with the Halton School Board’s New Street Education Centre, said in a press release.
Local 105 is also a participant in Canada’s Helmets to Hardhats program. Established in the U.S. 11 years ago, the program was launched north of the border just 18 months ago.
A story in The Toronto Star profiles Steve Krsnik, a light infantryman who served for 18 months in Afghanistan and is currently enrolled in Local 105’s apprenticeship program.