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USGNN Original StoryGTA Expands Apprenticeship Program to Include Edmonton, Alberta

Challenged by the shortage of skilled glass trades professionals, the Glass Trade Association (GTA) of Northern Alberta has expanded its apprenticeship training program with the addition of a Southern Alberta Institute of Technology satellite campus in Edmonton. Previously, the training was only held at the main campus in Calgary.

"All of the construction trades in Alberta are in short supply and there is lots of construction activity," says Ross Wady, president of GTA. "Our province is big geographically and sending students from Edmonton to Calgary is a three-hour drive. There's more opportunity for the glass businesses in Edmonton in having the school so much closer to the young people here."

According to Wady, the four-year course teaches students the fundamentals of the glass business, such as proper handling and cutting techniques, as well as working with storefront metal and glass. Classes for the first group of first-year students began May 12; classes for a second group will begin in September so there will be two four-year groups to graduate in 2012. The goal for next year is to add two additional classes.

"We filled up the first class and 10 out of 16 openings are already filled for the September class," says Wady.

Several companies within the industry have also been supportive of the new school by donating a variety of equipment types. Wady says Kawneer Canada supplied metal, Tremco donated sealants and glazing tapes and PCL Construction supplied cutting tables.

CLICK HERE for additional information about the apprenticeship program.

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