The GRiT Program’s staff and participants were graciously hosted by members of the Building Trades of Alberta , the Canada Regional Council of Carpenters Local 1325, the Alberta Millwrights Local 1460 , and the International Association of Bridge Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers Local 720 on an all-day tour of the outstanding training facilities that these trades unions boast around the city of Edmonton.

GRiT participants were shown around the shop facilities including the scaffolding area and the carpentry wood shop at the Carpenters Local 1325, as well as the reinforcing bar training area at the Ironworkers Training Centre. Our youth learned about the established unions around the city, the basics and benefits of each of the trades, and the opportunities that are available for youth currently interested in joining a trade. At the Carpenters Local 1325 Training Centre, our youth were given the opportunity to each construct their very own “wooden gumball machine” to take home and enjoy at their leisure! They were instructed on the safety and basics of measurement, nail gun usage, wood glue, and sanding. At the Ironworkers Local 720 Training Centre, the GRiT Program participants were coached through some hands-on reinforcing bar activities, including the tying of the basic ties commonly used in the field. The Ironworkers had an additional activity that was quite unique, where our group of youth were offered the chance to partake in a “virtual reality” activity. The activity simulated a realistic job site, including doing minor repairs, moving materials, and constructing safety fences around the site, as well as the feeling of walking along a steel beam at the top of a scaffolding structure several hundred feet high.

The GRiT Program and Selections as an organization would like to thank each and every organization that helped to make this such a successful event, as well as the individuals who took such great levels of care and expertise to make our youth feel welcomed, comfortable and confident throughout the day. Our GRiT Program participants learned more than we could have hoped for, and we have already seen an increase in enthusiasm and interest in many of our youth regarding taking the next step toward building their dream career!