NAIT hosts provincial and national skilled trades showcases
Matthew Lindberg (Plumber ’01) wouldn’t be where he is today if he hadn’t tested his mettle at provincial and national skills competitions more than 20 years ago.
Being able to showcase his skills and technical knowledge among peers, industry experts and prospective students connected his passion for the skilled trades with a growing desire to teach. That paved the way for his first instructor position at NAIT in 2006 and, in subsequent years, training the next generation of skills competitors.
“No matter what trades education you take, those skills will be with you forever and you never know where that skill will take you,” says Lindberg, NAIT’s newly appointed dean of the School of Skilled Trades.
NAIT hosted the Skills Canada-Alberta competition in March and the Skills Canada national competitions in May. Nine of the polytechnic’s 22 participating apprentices took home top honours provincially, earning them a shot at nationals where two students won gold medals (see national results below).
Our photo and video team provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what it’s like to compete after weeks of training and preparation.
Lindberg, shown above, participated in his first skills competition as an apprentice in 1999.
“The connections and memories I made as a competitor helped me connect two of my own passions: trades and education.”
Auto Body Technician instructor Cecile Bukmeier (class of '15) won gold medals at provincials and nationals when she was an apprentice and has been helping learners prepare ever since.
“I wanted to share my passion with more people and I wanted to show women that they weren’t alone in the trade.”
Welder apprentice Brooke Peterson, pictured above, represented NAIT at provincials.
“The teachers don’t just come here every day for a paycheque. They come because this is what they love to do and they want to help the future of their trade.”
Auto Body Technician instructor Nathan Baudry (class of ’09) has mentored competitors through provincial, national and WorldSkills competitions.
“We try to bring in the best of industry and bring that along to the students.”
Andrik Jacobsen earned provincial gold in cabinetmaking.
“I would absolutely recommend the competition, the program – all of it. It’s fantastic, so much fun and a great opportunity.”
Skills Canada-Alberta executive director Chris Browton (Radio and TV '92) says competitions put students through their paces by taking them out of a traditional classroom environment and giving them a real-world challenge.
“They start to see how well evolved their skill set actually is.”
Hizaarah Rossenally, pictured above, has participated in skills competitions since 2016 and took home provincial gold and silver at nationals in baking.
“I feel very passionate about what I do. It’s my happy place.”
- Dorien Lozeau, Car Painting
- Dillon Stor, Steamfitter/Pipefitter
- Maxwell Fisher, Autobody Repair
- Chris Antoniollo, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
- Peter Estephan, IT Network Systems
- Warren Ference, CNC Machining
- Hizaarah Rossenally, Baking
- Corbin St. Jean, Automobile Technology
- Aidan Victoor, Carpentry
Watch highlights from provincial skills