Career Discoveries 2019

September 10, 2019

2019 marks the sixth year of the GDC-sponsored Career Discoveries Program, an initiative designed to give students hands-on experience and insight into various career paths. This year, students were challenged to begin a 5 kilometre trail building project in South Hazelton, the site of GDC’s future base of operations and trades training facilities. During the first two weeks, students were led by Coast Mountain College’s Red Seal Carpenter, Corwin Siemens, who returned for his 4th year working with Gitxsan students to build various projects. Previous projects include an enclosed BBQ pit with seating, a 40’ covered shelter, a storage shed, fencing and interior building construction. This year, students were taught how to build a wetland boardwalk and stairs for a 300 foot section of the trail. Students learned how to work safely with tools, building confidence to continue on with the project once the Instructor’s time with them came to an end. The students received an Introduction to Construction Trades certificate from Coast Mountain College, as well as, Grade 12 credits.

Career Discoveries is often a first job for students, giving them exposure to the reality of entering the workforce. When selected, a student needs to take steps as an income earner, such as obtaining a Social Insurance Number and opening a bank account. On the job, students learn about company safety policies and procedures along with performance expectations, being a good team player, being accountable, on time and having a good work ethic. While the focus for this year’s group was trail building, students also were sponsored through training and workshops. Those with a valid Class 7 (Learner’s Licence) and driving experience took UTV training to receive a UTV Licence, allowing them to drive the company UTVs to transport themselves and tools to their work area. The whole group also obtained a Bear Aware and OFA1 certificate. Also included in the summer program was a two-day Lateral Violence to Lateral Kindness workshop. Every year, Lunch & Learns occur throughout the summer, where guest speakers from different Companies/Organizations visit to speak to students about their career experiences.

The Gitxsan community can be very proud of this year’s Career Discoveries crew, who worked together as “the Stairway to Heaven Crew”. The new boardwalk and stairs were shown to invited guests and GDC staff at a wrap up BBQ on their last day of work in August. The students were as proud of themselves, and were recognized for what they accomplished. GDC would like to thank Jeneen Woods, who mentored and oversaw the 2019 student crew, as well as Misty Wells and Rob Matthews, who served as Team Leaders. Job well done!