Cambrian College Espanola students graduate from Try a Trades Program

By Rosalind Russell – It was a day to celebrate success and achievement as seven students from the Espanola and Manitoulin Island areas completed Cambrian College’s Try a Trade program.

Janice Clarke, Cambrian’s interim vice-president academic says the Try a Trade is a 19-week exploratory program that gives students who may be interested in pursuing a career in skilled trades the opportunity to learn from experienced tradespeople and receive hands-on training and experience.

The program included safety training, welding, electrical, carpentry, small engines and more.

The graduation celebration was held on Friday afternoon with some of the students planning to attend more educational opportunities to expand their skills while others will seek a job in the trades market.

Clarke says the college is now seeking financial support from the province to continue offering the successful program to future students in the Espanola and Manitoulin Island.

 “I love that the program allowed us the freedom to use our imagination to design our own projects from the knowledge and skills that were taught to us by our instructor, Henry Girard,” says one of the graduates Sabrina Wahsquonaikezhik.

Girard spoke of the excellent relationship with the students and the satisfaction of seeing them come out of their shells and discover their talents. He also extended a thank you to the supporters of the program including Espanola Home Hardware and A10 Fabrication, which provided the supplies and their expertise in the students producing various items. He also points out that many of the items made by the students assist various organizations. For example, they made trainable walls for fire training for the Espanola Volunteer Firefighters, as well as a donation to the Espanola Food Bank.  

The Try a Trade graduation ceremony was held at Cambrian’s mobile trades trailers in Espanola, which are tractor trailers converted into trades labs and classrooms.

For more information about Try a Trade at Cambrian College, visit, email, or call 705-869-4113.

Cambrian offers more than 20 trades and engineering technology programs.

Learn more at

Thank you to Cambrian College for the slide show photos. All other photos by Rosalind Russell

The seven graduates of the Try a Trade Program with their instructor Henry Girard and Cambian College support staff. Photo by Rosalind Russell

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