By Colleen Flanagan, Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows News
A new trades program teaching students the skills of refrigeration mechanics is now being offered in the school district.
The program teaches students how to make, install, repair and service residential, commercial and industrial cooling and heating systems and is run in partnership with the Joint Apprenticeship Refrigeration Training School.
Topics covered include safety, hand and power tools; trade math; refrigerant handling certification; maintenance procedures; heat pumps and roof top units; electrical theory and application; level 1 industrial first aid; transport of dangerous goods certificate; cutting, brazing and bending pipe; refrigeration cycles and components; single and three phase motors and aerial lift certification.
So far there are three students from SD42 in the program that runs 19 weeks with students receiving 520 work-based training hours at the end of it.
“This one is unique because it is not run through a college but a union training shop. It’s a little bit of a different technical provider,” explained Steve Wiebe, principal of the district alternate, partnerships and work experience programs with the school district.
“The reason why we chose to go this route, it’s a different model then we’ve done in the past. Essentially we’re an island, Maple Ridge. We are surrounded by bridges and water. We don’t have a post training institution itself in our city like a Kwantlen or a Douglas or whatnot,” said Brad Dingler, district partnerships and trades programs and SSA co-ordinator with SD42.
”We do all our training in house which means that we offer programs that are 16 seat programs,” he continued adding that in order to differentiate their trades portfolio, they thought they would reach out to training institutions like JARTS and offer a limited number of seats.