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Trades Awareness Program Prepares Students for Future Careers

FORT SMITH, NT – On Monday, November 19, 36 students from Fort Smith, Hay River, Fort Resolution, Łutselk’e, and K’atłodeeche will meet at Aurora College’s Thebacha Campus in Fort Smith for the annual week-long Introductory Trades Awareness Program (TAP).

TAP, which runs November 19-23, introduces junior and senior high school students to various trades – cooking, aviation, carpentry, plumbing, electrical, heavy equipment mechanics – most of which are offered at Aurora College. There are two components to the program: introductory and intensive. The introductory program is an opportunity for students to rotate through the different trades and try out a variety of possible careers. In the new year, students who have completed the introductory week will return for the intensive program, where they will focus on a single trade and complete a large project.

“Since 2005, hundreds of students from across the South Slave have visited Aurora College to learn what it takes to succeed in the trades,” says Dr. Curtis Brown, superintendent of the South Slave Divisional Education Council. “They exit the program with meaningful hands on experiences, awareness of opportunities available following graduation, and new friendships with students from across the region.”

TAP exists to give students in small high schools access to the trades shops, equipment, and instructional expertise available at Aurora College, as well as the Fort Smith business community. Participating students earn Career & Technology Studies (CTS) credits towards their high school diploma. Students also get to experience residence life and their evenings are filled with sports and movie nights, and interest courses such as baking.

TAP would not be possible without the partnership between the Department of Education, Culture and Employment, Aurora College, and the South Slave Divisional Education Council.

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