CDC Vimont career fair

SWLSB’s new Vocational Training Centre set to open in September

Martin C. Barry

A career fair held at the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board’s Vimont Competency Development Centre on des Laurentides Blvd. in Laval drew the attention of students to the many career possibilities that are now available to qualified job candidates.

A big turnout

Among the estimated 700 people attending the half-day event on the morning and early afternoon of April 4 were students from Laval, the North Shore and the Laurentian region. The event was funded by a grant from the Sir Wilfrid Laurier Foundation.

The participating groups and organizations included school commissions and community colleges from all over the Montreal region, as well as Concordia University, the Canadian Armed Forces and the Montreal Fire Department.

Very high placement rate

“A lot of the board’s students don’t know the options that are available to them,” said Heather Halman, CDC Vimont’s director. She said the key is to give them employment opportunities in order to sensitize them to what’s available in their own community.

“For the programs being offered here today, most of them lead to 80 to 95 per cent employment as soon as they finish,” she added. “Many even find jobs where they’ve completed internships. A lot of our students don’t know the options that are available to them. So the key is to give them employment opportunities to sensitize them to what’s available in their own communities, rather than having to go to Montreal or somewhere else.”

Jobs for skilled tradesmen

According to SWLSB assistant director-general Frederick Greschner, a new vocational training centre, which is located in Saint-Eustache and which is going to be run in conjunction with the Commission scolaire de la seigneurie des Mille-Îles (CSSMI), will offer training in English and French in a number of trades that are currently in demand, including commercial and residential painting, welding and fitting and preparing and finishing concrete.

“Our new multiservice center in collaboration with CSSMI is a hallmark event for us as we are working in partnership to offer bilingual options in the trades for our students,” Halman added. “A bilingual education for a bilingual future is really what this center is all about: finding employment options for students in the region where they reside rather than displacing them.”

CSSMI/SWLSB work together

She pointed out that completion of the Vocational Training Centre will mark the first time in Quebec that an English and French school board unite to offer services. “Plumbing and Heating will be starting with full groups – one English and one French,” she said.

“And we are in the process of recruiting students for welding and fitting with one English and one French group as well as residential and commercial painting. The potential number of students could be close to 400 and this is a great opportunity for the community. And all lead to high opportunities for students to be employed right away on graduation.”


SWLSBCareerFair1: From the left, CDC Vimont director Heather Halman and SWLSB assistant director-general Frederick Greschner are excited about the potential of the new CSSMI-SWLSB Vocational Training Centre (seen on banner) which is set to open in Saint-Eustache in September.

SWLSBCareerFair2: Rosemount Technology Centre (RTC) was among the training institutions which took part in the SWLSB’s job and career fair.