On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of last week, our school board participated in a 3 day pipe trades competition at UA529 in Waterloo. 17 students took part from Waterloo Public, Waterloo Catholic, Upper Grand District and Wellington Catholic School Board. Students chosen had an interest and and were fairly skilled in the pipe trades.

Day 1 started with safety training, followed by an introduction to the project they will make. A blueprint was provided by the UA and students had an opportunity to review the project and get familiar with it before their official start time.

Day 2 was a day long continuation of the project. Students put their skills to work and remembered all the advice that was previously given to them by seasoned UA employees who acted as valuable mentors during the course of their introduction.

Day 3, the students finished their project by mid morning and had their projects graded by invited trades employers from our community. In the afternoon students had the opportunity to participate in a practice interview by HR reps from our trades employers. This was a great opportunity for our students to get a chance to practice their interviewing skills and also form relationships with potential employers within our region in their trade.

I would like to thank the following attendees who were so generous to give their day to our event:

Retired UA Local 527 Members:
Ralph Dekker, Bob Hovinga, Ken Wade, John Mahoney, Bob O’Bright, Manfred Lamers, Bill Fox, John Kelly, Lenny Musselman

UA Local 527 Staff:
Mark Walton – UA 527 Business Representative
Chris Riehl – UA 527 Business Representative
Alex Deadman – UA 527 Administrator
Russ Jessup – UA 527 Business Manager
Chris Descoteaux – UA 527 Training Coordinator

Special Guests:
Mark Bajac – Nelco Mechanical (Project Coordinator)
Sean Strickland – Ontario Construction Secretariat (Chief Executive Officer)
Fred Lehmann – Ontario Construction Secretariat (Communications Coordinator)
Angela Vieth – City of Waterloo (Councillor)