NEW GLASGOW – A group of students from North Nova Education Centre got a small taste of mentorship Thursday night when they talked with mentors from The Mentoring Plus Strategy about career opportunities in the skilled trades. Ten local volunteer mentors with extensive experience in the trades including carpentry, culinary arts, plumbing, power engineering, electrical, welding, machining and mechanics met with students and parents to talk about the realities of a career in their specific field.
“I thought the evening was really fun. It was great, they could tell me the ups and downs of the trade and what to focus on if I decide to pursue that trade,” said Seth Prindiville, a grade 10 student who is part of NNEC’s career exploration. Prindiville knows he definitely wants to pursue culinary arts after talking with mentor Chef Alain Bossé who is known as “The Kilted Chef.” “The Kilted Chef told me about a book to help me develop my palette.” The Kilted Chef said one of the things about the event was the chance to connect with the students and share stories. “You don’t get where we are today without amazing passionate stories,” said Bossé. “None of us would be here if we didn’t care.”
NNEC Principal Ann Findlay was pleased with the event, saying, “I think it’s an amazing opportunity for our students to learn about the trades from people who actually do them. I hope they find something they are passionate about and my goal for tonight would be that it helps direct them on a path.”
Mentor Mike Vienneau (retired Millwright) agreed that the opportunity to meet with students who have already decided that a career in the trades could be in their future opens up a window of opportunity. “It was easier to talk to them, to make the connection,” said Vienneau. Nova Scotia Community College Principal Maxine Mann agreed that the event was more beneficial than a career fair because, “It’s far more engaging and people are interactive.” Mann also felt that students whose parents joined them had the added advantage of their perspective and opportunity to ask questions of the experienced tradespeople. Mann also spoke to the students how a career in the trades often lends itself to travel, a variety of careers, upward mobility and entrepreneurship opportunities.
The Mentoring Plus Strategy’s Assistant Director and local coordinator Geralyn MacDonald organized the event which is part of the 4-year pilot project funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program. The Strategy’s benefits are two-fold, helping retirees stay involved in their communities and helping “mentees” with valuable advice to boost their careers. “We’re so grateful to the generosity of our mentors who gave their time to talk to the students and have committed to following up with students who want to learn more about a specific career path,” said MacDonald. “From our perspective any time a connection is made and when “lightbulb” moments happen, we’ve achieved success. This event is just one way we’re supporting the exchange of knowledge and the telling of stories with the important goal of keeping retirees connected, supporting people in their careers, and helping to address the needs of the trades sector.” The Mentoring Plus Strategy is working with Nova Scotia’s trades, tourism, business, arts and culture, health, and agriculture sectors. Specific groups of retirees are also looking at ways to support literacy, crime prevention, non-profit work and the trades. The Mentoring Plus Strategy is supported by the Towns of Kentville, New Glasgow, and Truro, in collaboration with Dalhousie University College of Continuing Education as its backbone organization.
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Media Contact: Terri Mingo, The Mentoring Plus Strategy Communications Consultant, (902) 324-2251 or Geralyn MacDonald, The Mentoring Plus Strategy Assistant Director (902) 755-5299
BROADCAST COPY – A group of North Nova Education Centre students had a chance to learn about careers in the trades from experienced mentors through The Mentoring Plus Strategy last night at the wellness centre. Social distancing didn’t stop the lively exchange where students went around the large room, some with their parents, talking one-on-one with mentors representing trades including carpentry, culinary arts, plumbing, power engineering, electrical, welding, machining and mechanics. The Principal of the Nova Scotia Community College Pictou Campus also spoke to the students about career opportunities in the trades, letting them know these careers often include travel, career variability, upward mobility and entrepreneurship opportunities. The Mentoring Plus Strategy is a 4-year project funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program. The Strategy’s benefits are two-fold, helping retirees stay involved in their communities and helping “mentees” with valuable advice to boost their careers. The strategy is working with Nova Scotia’s tourism, business, arts and culture, health, and agriculture sectors. Specific groups of retirees are also looking at ways to support literacy, crime prevention, non-profit work and the trades.