Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
Members of Brock University’s Faculty of Education along with members from the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada Local 67 gathered on Oct. 2 in recognition of a milestone for the Technological Education program.
Hosted at the Hamilton campus, the Technological Education program was the beneficiary of a donation of over $75,000 on behalf of the local union for the creation of an annual bursary and the purchasing of integral IT equipment.
Professor and Dean for the Faculty of Education, Fiona Blaikie, was first to take to the podium and noted the changing landscape of today’s classroom; acknowledging the significance of both the bursary-related portion of the UA Local’s gift and the ever-important equipment portion.
“We are incredibly grateful for this wonderful gift,” said Blaikie. “[This gift] will allow us to continue to advance the best technological education program in Canada.”
Blaikie also emphasized the importance of building community partnerships, especially with Brock’s Hamilton campus; a point furthered by the UA Local 67’s business manager Mark Ellerker.
“I am very humbled to be here,” he stated in his opening remarks. “This partnership is one that is particularly important to us … we are laying the foundation for a base in our community.”
Ellerker spoke of the importance of educating today’s students for tomorrow’s world, saying that they “will need people who are technically savvy”, regardless of the line of work they pursue.
Program coordinator Robert Moulton was the last to speak and he communicated a harrowing statistic that further emphasized the enormous impact of the UA gift.
“There is a very sobering statistic that we need to be reminded of,” he said. “That is, Ontario will face a potential, if not real, shortage of 20,000 skilled tradespersons by 2025. The candidates in our technological education teacher education program bring the skills, knowledge and wage earning experience with them when they begin our program. However, it is up to us as faculty to teach our candidates “how to teach” the skills they know so well to secondary school students. Our graduates suggest we do that well.“
The ties between the Technological Education program and the UA Local 67 have roots that extend beyond the Oct. 2 gift celebration, as UA 67 has graduates of Brock teaching apprentices and members of UA 67 are currently enrolled in the program.
The donation will continue to keep Brock students in the Technological Education program at the forefront of the industry and allow them to exit the program prepared to teach in 21st century Ontario schools and other venues around the world.
For more information on the Technological Education program, click here