Co-operating with the Future

Garden Valley Collegate
Winkler, Manitoba

By Debra and Janette (Grade 12)

   Co-operative Education prepares students from Garden Valley Collegiate, Winkler, Manitoba for the future. Students discover what jobs they are suited for and enjoy. As well, businesses and parents gain a lot from the program. Businesses get to see the work of a prospective employee, while parents are glad to save money and see their child experience the working world.

GVC students are gaining experience through the Co-operative Education program by working in the community. Students get a first hand look into possible career choices allowing them to discover about it, and pursue a job in that area if they wish. This, in turn, can save them from spending money on education in a field they may not enjoy. Experiencing the world of work and discovering the skills needed are also benefits of Co-op Ed.

Parents find the Co-op Ed. program a great advantage to their children because it teaches their child good work values and ethics. They are also glad that they do not have to spend money on education areas that their child may not enjoy.

Businesses in Winkler and surrounding area enjoy the opportunity to "test drive" a prospective employee and see what the upcoming labor pool has to offer. These are reasons why approximately 85 per cent of Co-operative Education graduates in Canada are employed in a position related to their placement. The Co-operative Education program consists of on-the-job training as well as class sessions. The first two to three weeks are spent in class learning work ethics and valuable job skills such as writing resumes and cover letters. Students are at their job sites everyday except for Wednesday afternoons, which are reserved for in-class lessons. During this time the class reflects on their week at work and finds out how others are feeling about their placements.

The Co-operative Education program has been in GVC since 1989. Garden Valley Collegiate Co-operative Education teacher Harv Giesbrecht says that his "goal is to someday have all the Senior Four students at GVC enrolled in this program or one similar to it".

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