Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad

Scratching the surface

Adult students in Simpson take first step toward new careers

Derek Neary
Northern News Services

Fort Simpson (May 09/03) - Nine adult students who are furthering their education were recognized by their families and Aurora College staff on April 30.

In big letters on the classroom's eraser board someone printed the celebratory message, "Congratulations graduates!!!"

To the right, under the heading, "Homework," someone scrawled, "No homework today!"

Lorayne Moses, the Local Training Authority trainer, said the LTA is "very proud" of the pre-trades and the office administration preparation students.

Jaclyn Elleze was the lone female among five pre-trades graduates. Although the trades fields are still predominantly occupied by men, Elleze said, she felt equally entitled to give the training a try. She is interested in becoming a housing maintainer or welder, or she may seek a career in office procedures, she said.

Billy Bertrand, who also took the pre-trades program from January through April, would like to be a welding apprentice.

"When the pipeline comes through there's going to be lots of jobs for welders," said Bertrand.

Those who pass the trades entrance exam are eligible to apprentice as carpenters, mechanics, plumbers and electricians, among other occupations.

They must also attend school intermittently in Fort Smith for a few years.

Greg Nolan, instructor of the pre-trades program, noted that "the field of trades is just growing with all the industry (in the NWT)."

Wanda Grossetete, one of four office administration preparation students, said her course has helped her improve her math, English and computer skills. It has also taught her how to keep financial records.

Grossetete has had experience as a temporary receptionist and would like to find a permanent office job.

"I enjoyed working with financial records, the accounting," she said.

She and her classmates don't officially graduate until the end of the month.