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Jobs abound for College’s Trades graduates

Okanagan College Media Release

Alexandra Staple chose to become a welder because she wanted a different future.

“I really wasn’t going anywhere in life doing what I was doing,” says the 23-year-old from Kelowna. “And I wanted a career with a future, not just a job.”

Staple, who had been working in food and beverage service for several years, chose Okanagan College because of its strong reputation for trades education, and welding specifically because as an artist she likes working with her hands.  

“I’m not the type of person who thrives sitting behind a desk,” she says.

Luckily since graduating, she hasn’t had to. Three days after completing her foundation program she found a position as a welder at Monashee Manufacturing in Kelowna.

Staple is one of 140 graduands of Okanagan College’s welding program and part of a larger graduating class of nearly 900 Trades and Apprenticeship students who will be recognized for their achievements at Okanagan College’s Trades Commencement on Friday, June 6.

“The BC Government projects there will be one million job openings by 2022, and 43 per cent of those will require a skilled worker,” says Okanagan College Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship Steve Moores.

“The graduating class of Okanagan College’s Trades students truly represents a very important part of the labour market and the future of province’s economy.”

More than 570 of Okanagan College’s graduands completed foundation programs in 15 trades including welding, aircraft maintenance, electrical, plumbing and pipefitting, automotive service, carpentry and studio woodworking, to name a few.

An additional 320 students will also be recognized at Friday’s event for completing the final levels of their apprenticeship training.

The Trades Commencement ceremony starts at 6 p.m. and will also feature Okanagan College alumnus Todd Regier, co-owner of Prestige Collision, who will address the students as the industry speaker.

To watch the convocation ceremonies via live streaming, visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/convocationlive.