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Good future in Newfoundland and Labrador construction industry, minister says

Minister Al Hawkins answers questions by students from the College of the North Atlantic and Academy Canada at the first Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Association student mentorship session.
Minister Al Hawkins answers questions by students from the College of the North Atlantic and Academy Canada at the first Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Association student mentorship session. - Chloe Goodyear

Post-secondary students had the chance to engage with leaders in the construction industry at the first mentorship panel hosted by the Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Association (NLCA).

The panel is part of the NLCA’s weekend conference celebrating 50 years of business.

Brent Howell, dean of the school of engineering at the College of the North Atlantic, was more than happy to bring his students to the panel, he said.

“This session is invaluable to students who are currently enrolled and the ones who are about to graduate in the very near future,” Howell said.

A mentor panel provides crucial insight to students that a school can’t always provide, he said.

“As much as our instructors in the college talk about these things, the power of the message from people who are engaged in the industry daily makes it real.”

The information from the panel isn’t just for the students, he said.

“It also helps instructors a great deal by keeping us informed. This is just one other source to gain information from industry representatives.”

Advanced Education, Skills and Labour Minister Al Hawkins was one of several people to speak with the students about their future careers.

He encouraged the students that there’s a positive future for them in the province.

“Newfoundland and Labrador, even though we are going through some difficult times, there is a bright future. We are taking measures to ensure that the skill sets required of you, you’ll be prepared for them,” Hawkins said.

As for the panel, who better to team up with than the people actually in the field, he said.

“One of the things I wanted to do as minister was to build a partnership and have collaboration with the industry. It was always important to me.”

Having the students engage with the industry can only be beneficial to them, he said.

“This student mentorship session is a fantastic opportunity to learn from the experiences of professionals in the industry.”

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