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DOZENS of Grade 6 students were swarming around the workstations at Red River College's Stevenson Campus Friday getting their first taste of what could become careers for some.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/05/2015 (2812 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

DOZENS of Grade 6 students were swarming around the workstations at Red River College’s Stevenson Campus Friday getting their first taste of what could become careers for some.

The annual event gives students hands-on exposure to airplane maintenance as part of the Grade 6 science curriculum component on the theory of flight.

It is part of a larger portfolio of educational programming that underpins the province’s aerospace industry.

In the Stevenson hangar, a number of planes and helicopters are available for the students to get close to, including a large Cesna Citation, a much smaller Piper Seneca and a four-seater Robinson R-44 helicopter.

Neil Lavoie, the chairman of Stevenson Campus, said the student population stays pretty constant at about 100.

He said, “We’re here to make sure Boeing and StandardAero and the operators at Winnipeg Airports Authority and all the regional airports have the people to hire with the skills set required to keep air travel and the manufacturing side going.”

Manitoba’s Jobs and Economy Minister Kevin Chief, leaders of Manitoba’s Aerospace industry as well as Royal Canadian Air Force personnel from 17 Wing Winnipeg were also on hand at Stevenson on Friday recognizing the start of Aerospace Week.

Kim Olson, president of the Manitoba Aerospace Association and the senior vice-president, helicopters, energy and engineering at StandardAero, said the industry benefits from the Red River program and a number of others.

For instance, he said StandardAero has hired about 50 graduates over the past few years from the Neeginan College of Applied Technology, part of the Neeginan Centre (formerly the Aboriginal Centre in Winnipeg).

The province’s aerospace sector — the third-largest in the country — employs about 5,300 people, about two-thirds of them at the three largest operations — Boeing, StandardAero and Magellan Aerospace’s Bristol Aerospace division.

Ken Webb, executive director of the Manitoba Aerospace Association, said the industry is supported by a very strong collaboration across the educational landscape in the province.

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