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Trading the routine for passion
Joey Kineshanko got a chance to put his education to work in the most basic of ways — he hopped into a big backhoe behind his school and sent that claw into the ground.
And, with that, he officially marked the start of a project that is already well underway and which brought smiles of relief to the faces of those in the Kamloops-Thompson school district who have worked for years to create a trades and technology school.
The timing was appropriate coming right around Thanksgiving as the many speakers noted how thankful they were to see the NorKam Trades Centre of Excellence go from powerpoint presentations and lobbying efforts to actual construction.
When complete next year, the centre will have four skills and trades training shops and two lecture areas. The curriculum will include mining, transport-truck driving, entry-level industrial, construction trades, refrigeration and air conditioning and civil engineering.
Joey also addressed the crowd gathered in the parking lot of NorKam secondary, praising the trades program in the school district and telling everyone how, after taking part in the heavy-metals program last year, he obtained a job that he was faced with quitting at the end of the summer for a return to school.
His work experience, however, counted toward graduation credits and, he noted, his education led to a skill that now means he doesn’t have to be back in a classroom, but doing a job he loves — and still eligible to graduate.
Joining him in speaking of the trades program were Kaitlyn Chantler and Isaac Moonen.
In introducing Isaac, school principal Jonathan Brady noted the teen had spent hours earlier this week after school helping with the regular Rotary family dinners held at the school. Isaac then took to the podium and talked of how he had found his calling and grown in confidence through his culinary-arts schooling.
Kaitlyn told the group of her struggles with school, of how she wouldn’t want to get up in the morning and head to class until she enrolled in NorKam’s hairdressing program.
She found a reason to want to go to school and not just learn a skill that appealed to her, but learn one at which she excelled and could share with others.
The centre is projected to cost $7.4 million, with the Ministry of Education contributing $4.6 million and the province’s skills and training program chipping in $1.7 million.
The rest is being paid for by the Kamloops-Thompson school district.