ALGOMA DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD
Algoma District School Board students interested in pursuing a career in Welding or Pipefitting are taking related courses in school and on Tuesday, March 6 they will be able to test their skills at a Skills Ontario Welding Competition to be held in Sault Ste. Marie.
The road to the Provincial Skills competition begins with this local competition, which is being sponsored by the United Association of Journeyman and Apprentices of Plumbing and Pipefitting (U.A. Local 800), located at 165 Northern Avenue East. Students will arrive early for registration and complete a welding task in the morning. Experienced local mentors who are members of the union will judge their work.
Students will be judged on safety, fitting, shielded metal arc welding, and gas metal arc welding. They will spend the rest of the day participating in demonstrations and mentoring sessions with local journeymen, as their results are being tallied.
One of the mentors for the event is the reigning Canadian Steamfitting Champion, Kraig Fewchuk. Kraig won Skills Ontario in the Steamfitting category last year. He then went on to win the UA Canada apprentice competition and competed in the international competition in Ann Arbour, Michigan representing the local UA. The year prior to that, local apprentice Corey Garson won the regional, and the national UA competition in the area of Steamfitting. Corey also went on to compete in Ann Arbour at the international level.
The winners of the local student competition will qualify for entry to the Regionals in North Bay. This is an outstanding opportunity for ADSB students as they can build relationships with mentors and industry experts. In addition to the local union sponsoring the event, their suppliers have contributed prizes and lunch for the contestants.
There is a significant need for apprentices in this field to support a declining number of Journeymen and so this competition allows the local association to become aware of students who may soon be looking for co-op and/or eventually employment opportunities.