Georgian College in Owen Sound is offering a new 34 week program in the skilled trades.
The program, which takes 20 people and is now fully booked, aims to help address the need for skilled workers in Grey and Bruce.
Bruce Power and its affiliated unions and suppliers have collaborated with Georgian to deliver the program.
College Communications specialist Elaine Murray says some of those skilled trades could come in handy for the Bruce Power Major Component Replacement project.
Participants will have a hands-on introduction to working as a welder, electrician, millwright, carpenter and boilermaker.
The program also includes academic upgrading to prepare students for apprenticeship-level math, communications and science.
Murray says a highlight of the program is the 12-week paid field placement at Bruce Power provided by various unions and Bruce Power suppliers.
Upon successful completion of the program and work term, Murray says the unions are committed to hiring graduates as apprentices.
Fred Varkaris, Dean of the Owen Sound Campus, says the college received a large number of applications for the pre-apprenticeship program. The college must apply to offer such a program, and whether or not it will run again in future years would depend on approval.
The program will start on April 29th and the work placement portion will end on December 20th.
Four County Labour Market Planning Board Executive Director Gemma Mendez-Smith says, "It's great to have a college that has physical presence in our community be able to do that and support the community and the community support that college back, because that's what we need to have."
Mendez-Smith says the program allows the community to "stay local," she notes "that while the training is directly related to jobs that will be needed for the life extension project, I think the skills that people will be gaining through all of this training will certainly support all of the other employers that are looking for skilled trades training."
Meanwhile, Georgian has plans to increase trades training at the Owen Sound Campus.
To date, five new apprenticeship programs have been approved: Educational Assistant, Electrician (both Industrial and Construction-Maintenance), Hairstyling, and Millwright.
Georgian will launch the Educational Assistant and Electrician programs in 2019-2020 and Millwright in 2020-2021, with Hairstyling to follow.