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New lab steels the show

About 60 people gathered at the new welding lab at Algonquin on April 3, eager to see the brand new equipment students will be using.

This is Algonquin’s second welding lab and it is located in S-building off of the automotive lab. It will be used by apprentices.

Approximately 60 people attended the event, including guests Bob Chiarelli, MPP for Ottawa-West Nepean, Jennifer Barton, director of Eastern Region Employment and Training Division, Andrew Bartlett, Training, Technical and Program lead with the Canadian Welding Foundation and Claude Brulé, senior vice president of academic.

Brulé, Chiarelli, Barton, Bartlett and Curtis Pilon cut the ribbon to the new welding lab. Pilon, a level 2 plumbing apprentice, is among approximately 2,000 other apprentices Algonquin trains every year.

Currently, all of the apprenticeship programs have a welding component to them except the hairstyling and cooking apprenticeships. There are four intakes forapprentices every year: one in August, October, January and March.

“Algonquin College implements outstanding apprenticeship programs by delivering curriculum to students in exceptional facilities such as this and by current and well-informed faculty members,” Pilon said.

Algonquin received a $2.3 million grant from the Apprenticeship Enhancement Fund through the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skill Development. In addition, they received $75,000 from the Canadian Welding Post Secondary Institution to buy new equipment.

There are 24 booths in the new lab, each equipped with a built-in filter system that cleans the air so it’s self-contained and easily maintained. There is also a black curtain behind each station to create a more private work station.

Shaun Barr, chair of Construction Trades and Building Systems, played a big role in getting this new lab ready for apprentices to use. In the ACCE-building the welding lab is full all week, meaning this new lab will create more space for the apprentices.

The new layout is completely different from the lab in ACCE-building.

“The way it’s laid-out lends itself to easy instruction from the faculty,” Barr said.

Chris Janzen, dean of Faculty and Technology and Trades hosted the event and said, “Our new welding lab not only marks a new beginning but it’s a bridge between our proud heritage as a stronghold of the trades and the bright future we see in all of our learners as we prepare them to be innovative, entrepreneurial and for them to take the skills they learned with us to the next level.”

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