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College drives trades exploration into South Okanagan
Okanagan College Media Release

Trades TrailerOkanagan College smoothes the road to new careers when its Trades Discovery Trailer swings into the Similkameen Wednesday, May 9.

Students from schools throughout the region, and the general public, will get a practical picture of what it means to work in a variety of trades through a series of demonstrations put on by members of the College’s Trades and Apprenticeship Department at the Similkameen Secondary School in Keremeos.

“This is the biggest event we’ve done so far,” said John Haller, Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship at Okanagan College.

The trailer is packed full of equipment, giving students from Keremeos, Osoyoos, Princeton and Merritt a chance to check out activity stations on the following trades:
· Aircraft Maintenance Engineering
· Carpentry
· Plumbing
· Electrical
· Automotive, and
· Heavy Duty Mechanics

Students can also see a cooking demonstration from Culinary Arts plus get a chance to try out the latest in trades education technology – virtual reality simulation activities with the computer-based Collision Repair Paint Trainer and the Arc Welding Trainer.

The welding trainer includes a specially designed helmet that features an integrated face-mounted display which projects students onto a scaffold or bridge, hundreds of feet in the air, all while they practice their welding skills.

With the paint trainer, students aim a virtual paint gun at a white screen while a computer records the speed, amount, and even coverage of paint, right down to the drip.

“Everyone loves it. It’s like working with a Wii,” Haller said, noting Okanagan College was among the very first institutions in B.C. to incorporate simulators into its training programs.

Whether students are trying out the simulators or visiting the workstations, Haller said the demonstrations provide students with a greater understanding of the trades.

“We believe hands-on is the best way for people to make a decision about what they want to do,” he said.

The Trades Discovery Trailer exhibition runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Similkameen Secondary. Members of the public are invited to attend as well.

For more information about Trades and Apprenticeship education at Okanagan College, visit