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SAIT centre inspires future of skilled workers

Grade 9 students learn about career opportunities in applied technology, business and trades education at SAIT’s Career Exploration Centre.

Illustrating all that SAIT has to offer is the purpose and mission behind the Career Exploration Centre (CEC). The interactive centre introduces Grade 9 and 10 students to a world of future career opportunities in applied technology, business and trades education. When students leave after their CEC experience, they leave informed and inspired by the possibilities in a variety of occupations. 

WHEN I ASK GRADE 9 STUDENTS WHO VISIT OUR CAMPUS WHAT THEY KNOW ABOUT SAIT, A HAND INEVITABLY SHOOTS UP AND A STUDENT SAYS ‘IT’S A TRADE SCHOOL.’ I SAY ‘YES — YOU CAN LEARN A TRADE AT SAIT BUT WE OFFER SO MUCH MORE.’After five years in the pilot stage, the CEC officially became a program in the 2017-2018 academic year and moved to its permanent home in the Johnson-Cobbe Energy Centre. Facilitators provide unique, hands-on opportunities such as working on the front half of a car, playing an electrical-grid board game, bricklaying and donning chef's whites to plan a nutritious meal.

Applying skills and achieving success

The CEC concept was born during the Promising Futures™ Campaign, to coincide with plans to increase SAIT's capacity. It was envisioned to introduce youth to the opportunities available to them through skills-based education.

A young boy in SAIT's Career Exploration Centre

When SAIT's Founding Builders, a group of Calgary construction industry leaders, recently toured the facility, they were impressed. "We were pleased that SAIT had developed plans for a career centre for young people as part of the Trades and Technology Complex. A place that would show them a career path they could follow," says Avi Amir, Chair of Homes by Avi.

"Now that we see it in action, we're even more impressed. Part of SAIT's mission is to inspire youth to become highly skilled workers. This is a place to introduce them to many opportunities afforded them by the construction industry and other sectors, where they can apply their skills and achieve success. The CEC is living up to its promise."

Curriculum, equipment and technology

Through partnerships with Calgary's two school boards, SAIT has developed a program that aligns with Alberta Education's Program of Studies in math, language arts, and science as well as career and technologies foundations. All activities link school subjects with real work performed within a career, giving students a sense of relevancy to their studies and typically helping them identify skills needed for industry.

Because of the generous support given to the Promising Futures Campaign, SAIT is now home to a one-of-a-kind facility that helps young students find successful futures in careers fuelled by applied education.

And there's more to be done. SAIT is continuously working to meet needs and expectations of teachers, counsellors and students. This includes curriculum and program development, equipment that aligns with industry standards and technology to ensure quality experiences and interactive exhibits.

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