Northwest Community College and School District 52 signed an agreement to make trades programs more accessible to high school students.

School district and NWCC ink agreement

Trade programs will be more readily available to high school students after NWCC and School District 52 signed an MOU.

Trade programs will be more readily available to high school students after the Northwest Community College (NWCC) and School District 52 (SD52) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on April 6.

The agreement established a legal template to start a trades program for Charles Hays Secondary whenever it shows interest.

Lorrie Gowen, the dean of trades and workforce training for NWCC said the college is working on programs that give Grade 10 students hands on experience in five different trades. By Grade 11 those students can work on the academics they need and then by Grade 12 they can do the Accelerated Credit Enrolment In Industry Training (ACE-IT).

“Growing our programming in partnership with the school district means we can introduce more career focused training to younger students, to get them excited about a variety of options for the future,” said Gowen.

The accelerated program, ACE-IT, was made available here in 2015, and it has been running in Terrace for three years.

“We will be able to see two years from now if those students transfer into our trades program,” Gowen said. “

The trades courses will also be offered to recent graduates and adult students. For high school students, it will be a dual credit academic course enabling students to get a head start on post-secondary studies.

“It took us a long time to get to this point and now we are really happy with it,” said Sandra Jones, SD52 superintendent.  “This agreement makes it easier for us to offer joint programming.  Because the MOU is already in place, we can act more quickly on new training opportunities between the school district and NWCC.”

It’s not all about trades. Gowen said the college and school district is also discussing an introduction to health and introduction to business programs.