The 2019 Skills Excellence awards night in April celebrated the achievements of the participants of the provincial Skills Canada-PEI competitions, which were held across PEI this spring.
“Skills Canada-PEI is part of a national non-profit organization,” says Tawna MacLeod, Executive Director, Skills Canada-PEI. “Our mandate is to promote training and careers in the trades.
“This year, because of the tireless work of so many people, 390 high-school and post-secondary students competed at the provincial level on PEI in 41 competition categories.”
“The future of the North American economy of is all about skills,” says Dr. Sandy MacDonald, President, Holland College. “The number of people in skilled trades and at the skills competitions has never been higher. Interest in skills on the part of government, industry and post-secondary education has never been greater.”
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/skillscanadapei/.
Some of the gold medal winners who went on to the National Competitions in Halifax
Drew Acorn, grade 12 student at Bluefield Senior High School, won gold in Graphic Design at the secondary level. “This is something I always wanted to do,” says Drew. “I really like art, and Graphic Design is a way to make a career out of art.
“Last semester, I did an OJT co-op placement at a print shop in Kensington. They really helped me a lot. I made ads and business cards, and learned how to print and how to use Adobe creative software, which we needed for the competition.
“I have been accepted into the Fundamental Arts program at Holland College, and hopefully that will help me decide if I want to go into the Graphic Design program.”
Jennifer Gallant was awarded gold in Esthetics. She studies at the Private School of Hair Design in Charlottetown, and is from Souris.
“For the competition, we had to do a facial, manicure with nail art, and a pedicure. I competed against seven people. The judges were previous students from the school. Winning at the provincial level makes me feel great, and it will look great on my resumé,” says Jennifer. “It is like the Olympics of the trades,” says Esthetics Instructor Deanna Clow.
“I already have a job lined up at a local esthetics shop, which will build my skills and experience,” says Jennifer.
“I hope to have my own shop some day.”
Sean Augustine Gonzales and Robert Greenan from Kinkora Regional High School won gold in Mobile Robotics, secondary level. “Back in the Philippines, I was taking robotics, and I liked the idea of building a robot,” says Sean. “I think the problem solving skills I learned will be helpful in the future.”
“My favourite part is coming across so many challenges when I am building the robot,” says Robert.
Both Sean and Robert planning to study engineering at the University of New Brunswick this fall.
Irene Pak, who studied Pastry Arts at the Culinary Institute, won Gold in Baking.
“I love making breads and sweets and cakes, and I want to concentrate on baking tasty foods for people with allergies,” says Irene, who is from South Korea.
“I chose to take the one-year program at the Culinary Institute because I wanted to improve skills and it has a good curriculum. I plan to find a job as a Pastry Chef in Canada.”