I.E. Weldon Secondary School in Lindsay is one of 40 high schools across Ontario that have received high-tech equipment through a program designed to increase students’ skills for job opportunities in the precision metal working sector.
The Career-Ready with the Canadian Tooling & Machining Association (CTMA): Expanding Opportunities program exposes students to technology at an earlier age and provides real-world experience. The experiential program, a partnership between CTMA and the Ontario Council for Technology Education (OCTE), purchased and delivered equipment to 40 secondary schools across 22 school boards in Ontario last year, in addition to 28 schools that received new equipment in 2021 during the first year of the program.
The Career-Ready program is funded in part by the Government of Canada and by the Government of Ontario through the Skills Development Fund of the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training, and Skills Development.
Trillium Lakelands District School Board has received $62,254 in provincial funding for equipment at I.E. Weldon Secondary School in Lindsay. Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott announced the funding on behalf of skills development minister Monte McNaughton.
“This funding will allow students in Trillium Lakelands District School Board to continue their path towards careers in the tooling and machining industries,” Scott says. “Our students will benefit from hands-on learning with high-tech machinery provided by Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, as they explore the world of skilled trade.”
Equipment deliveries for the program began in November and range from computer numerical control (CNC) milling centres, lathes, and plasma cutters, to CNC desktop milling machines, high-precision conventional milling machines, lathes with readouts, and more. In addition, each school will receive tool kits and cutting tools.
“Our goal is to expose high school students to technology at an earlier age to engage their interest for a career within our industry,” says CTMA executive director Robert Cattle. “Not only does this expose students to newer technology at an earlier age, but also gives teachers up-to-date equipment to implement in their classrooms.”
I.E. Weldon Secondary School received a Haas Desktop CNC Mill, a Modern Vertical Mill, and a Tormach CNC Plasma cutting table. The equipment is being used by the school’s discovering and exploring technology, manufacturing, design, and robotics classes.
“By better equipping our school facility, we better equip students to seek out meaningful careers in industry,” says Alan Stanley, the school’s head of business and technological studies. “This funding helps put our students in front of machinery that they can find in many manufacturing facilities right here in the City of Kawartha Lakes.”
Along with the availability of high-tech equipment in Ontario high schools, the Career-Ready program provides experiential work placements for students in high school co-op programs, with a focus in the precision metal working sector.
Each participant will work alongside experienced tradespeople, skilled workers, and other professionals who will provide them with an opportunity to gain real work skills and knowledge. Eligible employers could receive a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of wages paid, up to $5,000 per placement.
Employers and candidates interested in participating in the Career-Ready program can find out more at ctma.com/career-ready/career-ready-details.