This secondary student in Cobourg is designing high-end kitchens from scratch using skills and tools he learned in the classroom

SHSM Photo of high school student in manufacturing class

PVNC launches new video series highlighting board-wide skills opportunities

Angus Cornelius, a Grade 12 St. Mary Catholic Secondary School student in Cobourg, had his love for design and engineering sparked and fostered in school.

Now he’s working in the local manufacturing trade, designing, fabricating and installing kitchens while he’s still completing high school.

As part of his school’s Manufacturing Specialist High Skills Major, Angus found practical applications for the math and science he enjoyed.

student working at table

Angus turned his co-op placement at a local manufacturing company into employment, where he continues to hone his skills.

“I told my teacher I wanted to become an engineer. I want to be able to take what I learn in math class and in physics class and apply it. I want to be able to take something that is an idea, and make it a reality,” he said.

Manufacturing Teacher Joel Kightley was able to put Angus to work in the school on equipment such as a CNC router, a computer-controlled cutting machine, and 3D printing, tools and skillsets that are currently in high demand in the workforce.

“We’ve brought in different technologies that create a larger spectrum for students to be able to work with,” Kightley explained.

Angus took his in-school experience and applied for a co-op placement with a local kitchen company. He became proficient in the skills required for the job and was hired after two months. He now trains senior staff on some of the company’s most advanced equipment.

“He learnt it and he absorbed it really quick,” said Frank Bouwmans, owner of FB Kitchens in Cobourg.

“With all the learning, and everything I’ve done before this, this co-op has taken me to a point in my career where I think I can walk into any shop and pick up a CNC or pick up a computer and help make everything more efficient,” Angus said.

PVNC is excited to launch the first 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 and environment. Learn more here.