May 30th, 2024

Students get ‘EPIC’ learning experience at career event


By Lethbridge Herald on April 17, 2024.

Treyvis Balfour of DMT Business Group talks to a student about some soldering he did at one of the exhibitors's booths during Career Transitions EPIC Day Wednesday at the Agri-Food Hub and Trade Centre. Herald photo by Al Beeber

Al Beeber – LETHBRIDGE HERALD – abeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

Hundreds of students from southwestern Alberta schools had a chance to learn about different career opportunities at an epic educational session inside the Agri-Food Hub and Trade Centre Wednesday.

The 13th annual Career Transitions EPIC Day saw 660 students – primarily in Grades 9 and 10 – from 39 schools learning about a range of potential career pathways.

In groups of six, students spent 20 minutes with each of five different employer exhibitors during the day. A total of 55 exhibitors were on hand at the event which took up two of the Agri-Food’ Hubs halls.

Career Transitions is a charitable organization delivering career exploration evens and programming to nearly 80 schools in the region.

Exhibitors ranged from the Ability Resource Association to Westco Construction. 

The exhibitors were divided among 11 different exploration zones. Lethbridge College along with the YMCA, Lethbridge Public Library, Lethbridge Police Service and the U of L Department of Physics and Astronomy were on hand as were representatives from health fields such as Alberta Health Services, Alberta Precision Laboratory and Radiology Associates.

Agriculture and trades exhibitors were also present including Telus Agriculture Animal Health, Alberta Canola Producers, DMT Business Group, KB Heating and Air Conditioning.

On hand were a diverse group of individuals including an agronomist, RV technician, robotics technician, carpenter, welder, engineer, autobody technician, ironworker, HVAC technician, plumber and powerline technician among others.

“EPIC Day is exploring possible industries and careers,” said Career Transitions executive director Judy Stolk-Ingram Wednesday.

While Grades 9 and 10 were the primary audience of the day, it was open to any student looking for a chance to explore different careers.

The exhibitors showcased their profession for students with the idea, said Stolk-Ingram, being to give students a chance to look at potential directions.

“They need to start thinking about even potential directions,” said Stolk-Ingram. So if a student is looking at the trades, he or she should consider what math classes to take. Or if being an electrician is on students’ minds, they may want to consider taking physics classes, she added.

The exhibitors shared their journey, skills and experience with students.

“In as many cases as possible, our hosts bring something very much hands-on,” said Stolk-Ingram with students getting a chance to try their hands at such things as welding.

Students also got the chance to solder pipe, test soil, suture a pork loin with a rural family physician and extract DNA from strawberries with a scientist.

“It’s a very structured event just because we wanted to make sure kids get maximum value,” Stolk-Ingram said.

After each 20 minute session, students moved on to another occupation in their zone with each exploring five.

Each zone featured an occupation related to four sectors – agriculture and environment, trades, healthcare and STEM and one wildcard profession.

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