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.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Shots fired in Riverside Meadows

Red Deer RCMP believe public not at risk

Royal close shave: Prince William opts for dramatic buzz cut

LONDON — The hair on the heir is no longer quite so… Continue reading

Border wall models thwart US commandos in tests

SAN DIEGO — Recent assaults by tactical teams on prototypes of President… Continue reading

Man charged in presumed deaths of two missing Toronto men set to appear in court

TORONTO — A man charged with first-degree murder in the presumed deaths… Continue reading

Nova Scotia ‘seriously considering’ banning plastic bags: environment minister

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s environment minister says he’s ”seriously considering” enacting a… Continue reading

WATCH: Alberta Party leadership candidates in Red Deer

Three people vying to be the leader of the Alberta Party were… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month