Event empowers Langley girls to take on trades

Teen outreach

A bit of a workshop diva myself, I feel like I missed out on a great chance to play with some of the latest power tools in a fun all-girls environment earlier this month.

With the growing shortage of skilled tradespeople in B.C., I have to laud a special event held locally in honour of International Women’s Day.

The Pizza, Pop, and Power Tools Day was held March 6, and it is encouraging young women in Langley to consider a career in the trades.

There were 30 Grade 6 and 7 students from Fort Langley Elementary who took part in this pilot event aimed at giving girls hands on experience with the tools and trades.

Don’t know about you, but I was pushed to take sewing and cooking classes, not shop classes in school. Knowing my passion for playing with tools now, I would have loved an opportunity like this back in the day.

Anyway, I digress. During this recent event, the girls participate in hands on activities with Makita and Tomboy tools at Langley Secondary’s trades department.

There were skills competitions by Skills BC, and Worksafe BC talked about safety and provided some demonstrations, explained Michelle Skelly, one of the event organizers from the Langley-based apprenticeship group called Resource Training Organization.

“We have completed a number of successful events around the province, but this time it was a female focus and the girls did great on the tools,” Skelly said, explaining how working with girls of this age was all about helping them see the fun of it.

“The girls were very engaged the entire time and the Makita tools reps commented that they were great on the tools and they were very impressed,” Skelly explained.

Most of the students had limited trades knowledge prior to the event, yet afterwards they commented that their interest in the trades had increased significantly.

“We believe this event could have an impact on their career decision making down the road. It demystified the trades for them and gave them confidence that this is something they could actually do and enjoy,” she said.

With a looming skills shortage in many of the resource sector industries in B.C., the trades are a viable career option for women, as well as men. Hats off to the organizers of this event. I hope there’s more of it.

If it’s something you might be interested in, check out www.tradeswomen.ca.

Concert marks restaurant re-opening

Here’s a different twist to a grand opening – at least by local restaurant standards.

Owners of the Super Buffet, at 5744 Glover Rd., have recently completed extensive renovations to their Asian-cuisine restaurant, and have chosen to mark their grand re-opening with a huge concert on Saturday night.

It will feature 16-year-old Ria Jade, the star of Shaw Multicultural Channel’s TV show EveRIAthing.

She’s coming to Langley as part of her City Lights multi-stop concert tour. The evening will also feature local artists Darren Exley, The Reprise Band, and emcee Judi Vankevich (a.k.a. The Manners Lady).

Super Buffet owner Vinh Mai said, “We’re delighted to celebrate our grand opening with Ria Jade and her dynamic team of young artists. And we hope that all our guests enjoy our delicious new menu.”

The event is being held Saturday, March 22 with dinner at 5:30 p.m. and the show beginning at 6.

Tickets are $22 in advance and available at Super Buffet, 604-427-3399, from Vankevich at 604-530-4346, or online at http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/ria-jade-city-lights-tour-langley-tickets-10663632211.

Cost includes dinner, dancing, and live entertainment.

• More at www.langleyadvance.com, search “Jade”

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