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Student trade fair hopes to build futures in the Lakeland

LAKELAND - On April 16 and 17, a two-day trades fair is set to take place in the Lakeland region, organized by Lakeland Catholic School Division (LCSD) and Northern Lights Public Schools (NLPS). The event aims to provide students from across the region with valuable insights into various career opportunities within their home communities.

Megan McEachern, the Communications Officer for LCSD, spoke to City of Cold Lake council during the Feb. 13 council meeting, explaining the motivation behind the event.

“Our students and their families have expressed their desire to learn more about careers in the trades. We thought what a better way for them to learn than from those working in the industry?”

The trades fair is anticipated to host thousands of students in Grade 9 through to Grade 12 from LCSD, NLPS, and Conseil scolaire Centre-Est.

Through hands-on learning experiences, participants will have the chance to interact with professionals from diverse sectors, including Lakeland Industry & Community Association (LICA), Alberta Health Services, Alberta Parks, Bonnyville STRIKE group, Careers Next Generation, and more.

"Our goal is to expose these students to careers in areas they may not have considered in the past," McEachern stated. Additionally, an evening session on April 16, from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., will be open to the public. This session allows students to bring their parents, providing an opportunity to explore career options together.

Financial and in-kind sponsorships have been secured from various organizations, including the Town of Bonnyville, the MD of Bonnyville, Portage College and local businesses.

To further enhance the event, the organizers are seeking a $1,000 sponsorship from the City of Cold Lake. In return, the City can have a booth at the event, first choice of booth placement, and recognition for their contribution.

McEachern is also urging organizations to consider sponsoring door prizes to engage students further.

Bonnyville was chosen as the main location for the fair to happen as it is central to the region, with students coming from diverse areas.

“They're being bused into Bonnyville. That's the most central location because we have students coming from Lac La Biche, Waskatenau, just all across the region.”

Council did not make a decision on the request for funding and will bring the request forward at the next council meeting.

Chantel Downes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Lakeland This Week