Red Deer students win big at Alberta skills challenge

Preparing the province’s future workforce

Notre Dame High School student Kenzie Armitage won bronze for hairstyling, intermediate, at the Skills Canada Alberta challenge (photo submitted).

First they had to diagnose a complex problem, then they had to solve it — all under the critical gaze of a judging panel.

Red Deer’s Cassidy Lindseth won a gold medal for his efforts in the refrigeration and air conditioning category at the Skills Canada Alberta challenge in at the Edmonton Expo Centre last week.

Another local competitor, Duston Mickle, of Red Deer College, also won gold — in the sprinkler systems category at the challenge.

Lindseth, a Notre Dame High School graduate, is in his second year learning refrigeration technology at SAIT in Calgary. He competed, along with post-secondary and high school students from 80 Alberta communities, at the two-day event featuring 45 skills categories — from culinary to auto service, robotics to welding.

Lindseth had to figure out what the problem was with his equipment, as judges watched his methodology. He was then marked as he fixed the problem, installing new parts to get the unit working over the two-day competition.

“I had a pretty good feeling, based on how the first day went,” said Lindseth. Winning was “pretty cool,” and means he will advance to represent Alberta in the national competition held in Winnipeg at the end of the month.

The Skills Canada Alberta competition is celebrating 25 years of helping young people develop their abilities and elevate their career prospects, said Chris Browton, executive-director of Skills Canada Alberta.

“It’s critical to ensure that Alberta’s future workforce is prepared to meet the demand for skills trade and technology workers.”

Other Red Deer competitors also scored high in the challenge:

– Tom Friesen of Red Deer College, won silver in the Sprinkler systems category.

– Justin Meldrum of Red Deer College, won bronze in the welding category.

– Eric Koster of Red Deer College, won bronze in the electrical installations category. (Kloster was the 2015 national gold medalist in electrical installations at the high school level).

– Brittney Penner, of SAIT, won bronze in the painting and decorating category.

Among high school-level participants Notre Dame student Shawn Roland won bronze for electrical installations. And Notre Dame student Kenzie Armitage won bronze in hairstyling intermediate.

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