Chilliwack students take skills to national final

Four Chilliwack students will head to the Skills Canada championships after earning gold medals at the provincial competition in Abbotsford.

Russell Rosenburg (left) of Chilliwack and Jack Hunt of Squamish compete in the 'cabinet making' category during the Skills BC competition held Wednesday at Tradex in Abbotsford. The event attracted more than 400 participants from across the province competing in 40 categories for a chance to advance to the Skills Canada event June 5-8 at BC Place in Vancouver. Rosenburg was among four Chilliwack students to earn gold.

Russell Rosenburg (left) of Chilliwack and Jack Hunt of Squamish compete in the 'cabinet making' category during the Skills BC competition held Wednesday at Tradex in Abbotsford. The event attracted more than 400 participants from across the province competing in 40 categories for a chance to advance to the Skills Canada event June 5-8 at BC Place in Vancouver. Rosenburg was among four Chilliwack students to earn gold.

Four Chilliwack students will be heading to the national Skills Canada championships after earning gold medals at the provincial competition in Abbotsford on the weekend.

They were among nine local students winning medals at the event, which challenges students to test their technical know-how in an Olympic-style competition.

Medals were awarded to champions in six skilled trade and technology categories:  transportation, construction, manufacturing, information and technology, service and employment.

Nearly 570 middle, high school and post-secondary school students from across the province competed in over 40 trade and technology contests, held at the Trade & Exhibition Centre in Abbotsford.

Earning gold medals from Chilliwack were Justin Emery, who finished first in information technology (network systems); Johnathon Hergott, welding; Russell Rosenburg, cabinet making; and, Joseph Ryan, Mechanical CAD (computer-aided design).

All four students were from Sardis Secondary School. Also from Sardis were Hosuh Lee and Aidan Kavanagh, who both earned silver in two-dimensional computer animation.

Mount Slesse Middle school also sent students to the competition. Susanna MacKay, Riley Schlitt and Jaren Johns each earned a silver medal in the junior skills category for spaghetti bridge construction.

“The goal of this competition is to recognize our brightest skilled trade and technology students for excellence while educating and informing the public on the most in-demand jobs and the fastest growing industry sectors,” said Kelly Betts, President, Skills BC.  “The event is also a key annual initiative of Skills Canada British Columbia, helping raise the profile of careers in skilled trades and technologies for students, businesses and educators.”

The Skills Canada National Competition, will be held June 5 – 8 at BC Place, Vancouver. The four Chilliwack students and 45 other qualifying winners from the Skills Canada BC Competition will compete against their peers from all regions of Canada. The competition provides an opportunity for young Canadians studying a skilled trade or technology to be tested against exacting industry standards and to vie to win the honour of being crowned the best in their chosen discipline.

According to WorkBC, British Columbia is expected to become one of Canada’s economic leaders in the years to come with GDP forecasted to grow by over 25 per cent in the next five years. Increased services, from health care to emerging high-tech to trade occupations are the sectors expected to drive most of the economic growth.