HIGHLY SKILLED FUTURE: Building toward success in construction SHSM

student using a lathe

Recent St. Mary Catholic Secondary School grad Samantha Demattos started her passion for the skilled trades in Grade 9 when she opted for construction class.

That led her to pursue credits in her school’s Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) construction course and the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) where she said she got a head start on her career.

“I recommend the construction SHSM to anyone who may be interested in following construction as a career,” Demattos said.

student sitting at workshop table

Samantha Demattos, a recent St. Mary CSS grad, got a head-start in the skilled trades through the SHSM construction program and the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program.

“The most satisfying thing was getting my OYAP completed, my first year apprenticeship completed before leaving high school. That gave me a really huge start on my apprenticeship, so now I am one year ahead of everyone else in my (post-secondary) classes,” she said.

Throughout her schooling and co-op placements, Demattos said she experienced all aspects of construction from renovations to new builds and she earned certifications in first aid and safety that made her more attractive to employers right out of the gate.

Joel Kightley, a SHSM construction teacher at St. Mary CSS, said he’s privileged to be able to share his passion for skilled trades as a teacher and set students up for success as they head to post-secondary and apprenticeships.

teacher sitting at workshop table

Joel Kightley teaches the SHSM program at St. Mary CSS in Cobourg.

“I find a ton of success and satisfaction. I get to work with kids every day building really cool things and seeing some of those core skills in numeracy and literacy that they’re able to transfer into the rest of their lives. I love it,” he said.

PVNC is excited to launch the third in a series of new videos spotlighting stories like this about the teachers, technologies and opportunities empowering our students in the skilled trades.

The Board offers a variety of SHSM programs in all our secondary schools ranging from manufacturing to hospitality & tourism to environment.