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Home Campus News Women Prepare for Careers in Skilled Trades at Loyalist College

Women Prepare for Careers in Skilled Trades at Loyalist College

January 13, 2011

“When I was applying to colleges I discovered that Loyalist was building a new skilled trades centre and the thought of learning in that fresh new environment was definitely appealing,” said Melissa Jurchuk, a Welding Techniques student from Waterloo , Ontario. “I visited the campus during the summer and met with Professor John Grieve. His enthusiasm for the program was contagious and I couldn’t wait to start.”

Melissa is one of many women who are choosing to enroll in Loyalist programs that prepare them for careers in the field of skilled trades. The School of Skills Training at Loyalist offers eight program options — in the automotive, electrical, manufacturing, mechanical, motive power and welding fields. Students can capitalize on the flexibility of being able to choose the program and the time commitment that are right for them — a one-year certificate, two-year diploma or apprenticeship.

Welding Techniques is a two-semester certificate program that prepares students with the skills and knowledge to enter the welding, fabrication and millwright industries. Candace MacDonald

Melissa moved from Oshawa to take the program. “During my final year of high school representatives from Loyalist visited my school and talked about the Welding program. I had already taken a high school/college dual credit in welding and had loved the course. My decision was made — I knew where I was going. I’m definitely excited about the things that I have achieved and the things I plan to accomplish. When it comes to our careers I believe we should follow our hearts — never limiting ourselves or letting others do so either.”

Holly Maude is a second-year student in the Motive Power Technician – Service and Management program. “I chose Loyalist because I heard it had the best automotive program in the area. The new facility, and the fact that they include business classes as part of the program, was a definite draw. I think one of the greatest aspects of the program is the fact that you can enter the program with absolutely no prior knowledge of cars, and not be made to feel embarrassed or that you’ve wandered into the wrong classroom. There are a lot of women entering the skilled trades. The professors make all of the students feel welcome. You can tell that they love their jobs and are very supportive.”

Loyalist also offers a one-year certificate program in Motive Power Fundamentals – Parts and Counter Personnel, which shares a common first year with the two-year Motive Power Technician – Service and Management  diploma program. Students in both programs study basic automotive theory, as well as components from Level I of the Automotive Technician apprenticeship curriculum. In the second year, they are given training that closely resembles Level II and III of the apprenticeship curriculum. In addition, they study small business management, management principles, and safe environmental practices.

“When I graduate, I plan to look for an apprenticeship in the area and work toward becoming a certified technician,” Holly added. “I have high hopes for my future.”

For information about the School of Skills Training programs at Loyalist visit