SAULT STE. MARIE: Wednesday, March 11, nine local students from Korah Collegiate and Vocational School, White Pines Collegiate and Vocational School, and Superior Heights Collegiate and Vocational School hammered it out in 3rd Annual Carpentry Competition at the old Sears building in the Station Mall. Students were instructed to build individual dog houses and were judged on accuracy and overall appearance. Three winners will qualify for Regional Competition in North Bay in April.
“This is our annual local carpentry competition. These students are all involved in our house building program, and the winners from this event will go onto the Regional Competition in North Bay come April. Some students will go on as a four-person team for the Provincial Competition in Toronto. If they do well there it’s possible to go to nationals as well,” says Jim Fitton, teacher with Algoma District School Board (ADSB) and licensed carpenter.
Sal Dan Construction Group will have employees come to be judges and these judges were also former house building students. The judges are going to be measuring everything carefully; every eighth of an inch off, students will lose marks. Following the construction of the dog houses, some students will keep their masterpieces while others will be donating the dog houses to Habitat For Humanity Sault Ste. Marie & Area ReStore.
Further, into the interview Jim Fitton, teacher with Algoma District School Board (ADSB) and licensed carpenter, had the chance to express his feelings in regards to the trades industry. “Same as any other trade, there is a shortage. This competition is our way of trying to help this shortfall. The house building program has been going on for 16 years with Sal Dan Construction and the school board.”
These types of individual competitions are really in place to expose youth to trades opportunities.
“We’re just trying to get students interested and help them along in their careers…
I think if you can do any kind of co-op where you can get hands-on experience that will tell you either you like it or not. A lot of times, you’ll have an idea of what a job is like, but until you try it, you won’t know. I get a lot of students who aren’t sure, but once they try it, they find they like it. We get a lot of students that go on to become certified carpenters in the city, and some of them own businesses.”
In 2018, when it first started, the competition was hosted at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre. For the past two years, the carpentry competition has been hosted at the Station Mall, another local sponsor who donated the working space. Jim Fitton would also like to take the time to thank all local sponsors for the event. It wouldn’t have been possible without help from Soo Mill who donated all materials, and Sal Dan Construction Group.