North Nova earns Skills Canada tools

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NEW GLASGOW – It was a surprising morning last Friday when five North Nova Education Centre students entered a work room and saw $10,000 worth of tools on the floor.

They expressed quiet awe at the virtually new equipment and accessories for the school’s Career Exploration Program (CEP) that instructor Andrew Parsons drove home with the previous day after North Nova was named one of five Nova Scotia high schools to earn the tools last week during the two-day 2019 Skills Canada national competition in Halifax.

“I’m just shocked,” said Ryen Jensen, who is in the school’s building systems program. He unfolded a massive tool kit with fittings top and bottom.

Justin Blouin is in the school’s automotive program. “It’s great,” he said as he opened a box containing a cordless jigsaw. “We don’t even have one in the school. We have tools that are ready to hit the dust.”

North Nova was one of 50 schools that applied for the competition and was the only school awarded the tools in the Chignecto-Central Education Region. Three schools from HRM and one from Cape Breton were also awarded.

“We’ve been going to Skills Nova Scotia competitions for eight years — we haven’t missed one,” Andrew Parsons said. “Their generosity has been unparalleled.”

The tools were used for the two days of competition and later awarded to the winning schools.

Besides tool kits, there were saws, sanders and hand tools. What impressed Parsons were the extra batteries, drill bits and screw bits.

And the tools are portable.

“They fit really well with what CEP is doing as opposed to stationary equipment,” Parsons. “We can used these tools in this shop and take them to the Grade 9 class. It’s an unbelievable opportunity.”

From left: Ryen Jensen, Justin Blouin, Eagan Kinney, Justin Fraser and Ryan Alexander admire the tools North Nova Education Centre won for its Career Exploration Program. (Goodwin photo)