Students shown alternatives during visit to CAREERexpo

Many students have been nudged into university programs by well-meaning parents and teachers.

Many students have been nudged into university programs by well-meaning parents and teachers.

On Thursday, more than 3,000 got a persuasive look at some alternatives.

The eighth annual CAREERexpo took place at Red Deer College, with dozens of employers, educators and other exhibitors sharing information with junior and senior high school students about career opportunities ranging from aesthetics and avionics to scaffolding and welding.

Red Deer College president and CEO Joel Ward said it’s a good way to raise awareness about the skilled trades.

“Skilled trades are amazing,” he said. “They’re great careers, pay very well, and lead to all kinds of other opportunities.”

Thomas Lukaszuk, Alberta’s minister of jobs, skills, training and labour, also toured CAREERexpo.

He praised the event — which drew students from 43 schools — for helping motivate youths and teaching them about jobs they otherwise might not be aware of.

“As parents, we usually push our kids to university, and teachers push kids to become teachers and go to university, and often young people have very little exposure to the variety of careers that exist throughout the entire province.

“We have over decades devalued, from a societal perspective, careers in technology, and for some reason artificially inflated careers that stem from university education.”

Some university graduates even return to school to obtain the technical training they need for well-paying jobs, said Lukaszuk.

CAREERexpo is organized by CAREERS: the Next Generation — a non-profit organization that works with government, educational institutions, industry and other partners to help youths find meaningful employment.

Jerry Heck, its vice-president of stakeholder relations and growth, said CAREERexpo has been held at Red Deer College the past five years.

The institution provides an excellent backdrop for students to learn about the trades and other vocations, he said.

“It enables young people to see the linkage between what we would refer to as skill shortages, and where those skills are developed and enabled for young people to go out into the world to work.

“They get to see the labs, they get to see the classrooms and likely will meet some teachers and get some hands-on opportunities.”

On Thursday, those hands-on opportunities included virtual welding, pipefitting and a Lego robot competition.

Ward said he was pleased to showcase the many programs available at Red Deer College. More than a dozen other post-secondary institutions were also on hand, including Olds College and Canadian University College.

The 80-plus exhibitors also included the likes of Sky Wings Aviation, Studon Electric and Controls, Tarpon Energy Services, Alberta Health Services, Canadian Forces, Quinn Contracting and Cam Clark Ford.

Red Deer’s CAREERexpo was the third organized by CAREERS: the Next Generation this year, after similar events at Fort McMurray in March and Grande Prairie last week. The program got its start in Red Deer in 2007, with about 500 students participating, said Heck. The count on Thursday was expected to exceed 3,100.

Just Posted

Updated: Red Deer welcomes 2019 Canada Winter Games Team Alberta

About 250 Alberta athletes are participating in the Games

Syrian immigrants feel welcomed

Winter Social held at Festival Hall to promote multiculturalism

Small group rallies with pro-immigration message

Group wanted to counter misinformation on United Nations migration agreement

Trump says ‘things are going very well’ with North Korea

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Saturday that “things are going very… Continue reading

NDP won’t stop until Trans Mountain is built, says minister

Deron Bilous speaks at Red Deer chamber luncheon

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Kriechmayr edges Swiss favourite Feuz to win WCup downhill

WENGEN, Switzerland — It takes a special run to beat Switzerland’s best… Continue reading

WestJet plane heading to Victoria slides off Edmonton runway, no injuries

EDMONTON — A WestJet plane has slid off an icy taxiway at… Continue reading

Sam Bennett scores twice, Flames beat Red Wings 6-4

Flames 6, Red Wings 4 CALGARY — Sam Bennett scored twice including… Continue reading

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Most Read