RDC students earn gold at 2018 SkillsCanada National Competition
On June 4 and 5, RDC apprenticeship students Justin Meldrum and Eric Koster each earned gold medals at the 2018 SkillsCanada National Competition in Edmonton. Their achievements represent extensive training, and their success places them in contention for a spot at WorldSkills 2019, which will take place in Kazan, Russia.
“We’re extremely proud of Justin and Eric, as well as all of our apprenticeship students who have dedicated time and effort to prepare for competitions at the provincial and national levels,” says Joel Gingrich, Dean of RDC’s School of Trades and Technologies. “These students have gained valuable skills and expertise in their fields, and their success highlights their ability to achieve recognizably high standards, measured against others who are also the best in their regions and provinces.”
At the SkillsCanada National Competition, Meldrum and Koster were among 550 students and apprentices from across the country who were competing in 44 different skill areas. Meldrum, who is a third-year RDC apprentice, won gold in Welding, and he also received the Best in Region award for having the highest spread in points between gold and silver for Team Alberta. “When I was preparing for the competitions, I trained a few evenings after class each week, and after I finished school, I continued to practice all day on Fridays, thanks to a flexible work schedule,” he says. “It feels great to see all of the practice and preparation pay off.”
Koster, a fourth-year Electrician apprentice at RDC, earned gold in the Electrical Installations competition. “I became interested in Skills during high school, as I had a teacher that believed in me and what I could do,” he explains. “What started as a chance to test my skills and knowledge became something that I really enjoyed, and winning gold at both provincials and nationals has been kind of a dream come true. I’ve been working towards the opportunity to go to Worlds for the last five years.”
Part of the work that Meldrum, Koster and the other student competitors put in leading up to the events involved enhancing their practical skills, trouble-shooting abilities and technical knowledge in their trades. During competitions, the students put their skills to the test by completing three projects over a two-day span, and these projects were then judged by industry experts.
For Meldrum and Koster, the next qualifying competition for Worlds will occur in Halifax in the spring of 2019. To help them prepare for this stage, they will each have access to training space at the College. With the help of their RDC coaches, they will learn about techniques and projects that they may have to undertake at WorldSkills. For areas such as Electrical Installation, this can include learning new information, such as using electrical components relevant to the host country.
“Whenever we have the opportunity to learn from and share knowledge with other institutions and industry professionals, we build relationships on a provincial, national, and global scale, and this has a positive impact on our students and programs,” says Gingrich. “When our students perform at this level in the National Skills Competition, it advances the work we do with our apprenticeship students here in Red Deer, and it benefits all of Red Deer College.”
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About RDC’s School of Trades and Technologies: On May 31 and June 1, 2018, 16 apprentice students from the School of Trades and Technologies competed in the Skills Canada Alberta Provincial Competition. Over the two-day span, RDC students received seven medals: Eric Koster (Electrical Installations), Taylor McCallum (Plumbing), Tom Friesen (Sprinkler Systems), and Justin Meldrum (Welding) all received gold; Philemon Germain (Electrical Installations), and Duston Mickle (Sprinkler Systems) received silver; and Josiah Pilon (Carpentry) received bronze. The four gold medalists moved on to the Skills Canada National Competition on June 4 and 5, with Justin Meldrum and Eric Koster earning gold medals.
The School of Trades and Technologies offers students with apprenticeship programs in 15 trades, and the School also offers three two-year Diploma programs: Electrical Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology and Instrumentation Engineering Technology.
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Communications Strategist – Corporate
Communications Strategist – Corporate