COVID-19 Update – March 25, 2022: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, TTG continues to monitor and follow local and provincial information and recommendations to ensure the safety of all trainees, instructors, staff and others.

A New and Innovative Approach to Creating Awareness about Careers in the Skilled Trades

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Technical Training Group (TTG) was awarded $5,000 by the Stratford Perth Community Foundation (Melanson Family Fund) to put toward the purchase of a Virtual Welder and $5,000 from the Libro Prosperity Fund to put toward purchases of the Virtual Welder and four sets of Virtual Reality Goggles.

There is a critical shortage of people entering the skilled trades in Perth and Huron Counties and trades’ awareness, promotion and training delivery are Technical Training Group’s key priorities.

TTG understands that the importance of being exposed to experiential learning opportunities at an early age can often be the key to inspiring young people to sign up for tech studies in high school. This kind of exposure can also help start discussions with their families about possible trades-focused career paths in the future.

TTG’s youth engagement initiatives are delivered with community partners such as the Avon Maitland District School Board, Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board, Huron and Perth County Economic Development, local service providers, businesses and industry organizations.

To help better engage and connect with youth about the skilled trades, TTG recently purchased a VRTEX® Engage™ Virtual Welder, generously supported by funding provided by the Stratford Perth Community Foundation (the Melanson Family Fund) and the Libro Prosperity fund.

The virtual welder provides an opportunity to experience a highly engaging and interactive simulation of the welding process in almost any setting. It’s portable, requires no welding or safety equipment to operate and is suitable for all ages and skill levels.

Through the Libro Prosperity Fund, TTG will also purchase four sets of virtual goggles developed by ORIGIN, a company based out of Thunder Bay.

These goggles deliver virtual reality experiences which help create awareness and provide compelling, “real life” exposure to the skilled trades. There are currently 3 video experiences available within the goggles, which include Millwright, Boilermaker and Electrician. More of these virtual experiences are also in development.

For over two decades, TTG has been offering a variety of hands-on skilled trades and technology workshops to youth between the ages of 7-14. These initiatives include FunTECH and FunTECH AMDSB which so far this year have exposed over 1,000 students in Huron and Perth Counties to a range of trades and technology-focused workshops.

TTG will now be able to bring the Virtual Welder and Virtual Goggles to these workshops, as well as to events such as Career Fairs, Summer Camps, Home Shows, as well as to a variety of Community-sponsored events.

Building the skills for tomorrow’s workforce is a shared responsibility. These types of innovative and highly interactive tools will help TTG, along with our community partners, to continue to generate engaging and meaningful discussions about the potential for in-demand careers in the skilled trades in our communities.

Created by and for the people of Stratford, St. Marys and Perth County, the Stratford Perth Community Foundation has been the region’s Community Foundation, and partner in philanthropy, for 15 years. Uniquely positioned, the Community Foundation connects people who care with community organizations addressing the region’s community priorities. As one of 191 Community Foundations across Canada, the Community Foundation manages endowed funds and provides vital grants throughout Perth County.

The Libro Prosperity Fund is an annual granting program that supports local organizations focused on growing prosperity in Southwestern Ontario through Regional Economic Development, Money Smarts and Youth Leadership.

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