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The CWA Foundation has introduced students in Newfoundland and Labrador to the welding profession by funding a Mind Over Metal welding camp in the province.

The camp was held at the College of the North Atlantic's (CAN) Burin campus. It was hosted by Esteem Women of Newfoundland and Labrador. The camp is free to students and is funded by the CWA Foundation. It run  during two consecutive week-ends beginning October 2, 2015.

The CWA Foundation hosted its first pilot welding camp in Edmonton, AB, last summer and is now introducing the camps to all provinces and territories across Canada. The growth of the project will allow for even more cities across Canada to partner with the CWA Foundation to host this event.

"These camps are specifically designed to provide at risk outh with an introduction into the welding profession and the great career options that are available, while being supervised by professionals in a safe environment, says Deborah Mates, the director of the CWA Foundation.

"Esteem Women aims to increase women's participation in skilled trades," explains Mark Clarke who is with the orgnaization. "By providing girls with the chance to try welding through opportunities like the CWA Foundation's Mind Over Metal camp, we are building confidence and creating empowering experiences for them.

“We’re excited for the young women who will be given an opportunity to discover a trade that can offer them a promising and exciting career,” saya CNA president and CEO, Ann Marie Vaughan, nothing the age of the participants, aged 12-17, is an important time when exploring possible career paths. “It’s never too early for today’s youth to see what their future may hold–this camp will increase their awareness of the trades and technology sector, which is the all important first step.”

Subjects that were covered in the camp include welding safety, Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), an introduction to weld symbols, and a brief overview of the impact welding has on our daily lives. After completing the heoretical part, students practiced on the welding simulator and then experienced the actual welding process with real arcs and sparks.

“It’s going to open up a lot of possibilities to the students because this is such a unique opportunity," explains Mates. "It’s going to be hands-on and fun so when they finish they’ll have great memories and hopefully feel inspired to pursue a career in the welding profession. We are excited to be able to bring this opportunity to the provinces and territories and expose youth to something they may never have imagined. We are very appreciative of the support from industry, parents, Esteem Women, and College of the North Atlantic for allowing us to use their facilities. It is quite remarkable. This is just one of many outreach projects throughout the country the Foundation has planned for this year.”

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