Wider Horizons

Plumber apprentice medals at nationals


First-year Lethbridge College Plumber apprentice Justin Dekok won a silver medal at the Skills Canada National Competition in May in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Dekok, 19, of Picture Butte, also won silver — and a generous prize package of tools — at the Provincial Skills Canada Competition earlier that month in Edmonton.

Dekok and fellow plumbing apprentice Dylan Wachtler were encouraged to enter the provincial competition by their college instructors, including Jeremy Bridge, who attended the Edmonton event. Bridge says he was proud of both Dekok and Wachtler, as they appeared to be setting the pace at the competition, getting tasks done before their competitors and being mindful of the clock. Wachtler finished fifth provincially.

In both apprentices, Bridge saw a level of skill, attention to detail and the potential to gain competitive experience this year in hopes of making a successful run to the next WorldSkills competition to be held in Shanghai in 2021. The international event is only held every two years.

Dekok has benefitted from the experience of his boss at Aquatech Plumbing and Heating, Ken Howe, who advanced to the WorldSkills competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2015. That same year, Dekok’s brother Rylan went to worlds in cabinetmaking.

Like his brother, Dekok was pursuing cabinetmaking, until a job offer from Howe more than a year ago introduced him to plumbing. “I never thought plumbing was in the books for me, but I just love it,” he says. “It’s a clean job. You start fresh. You lay out your tools, spend time planning, get organized, and at the end you have something you can take a picture of and say, ‘I made this.’ It challenges me every time, and I like seeing a project through from the ground up.”

Skills Canada National Competition is the only national, multi-trade and technology competition for students and apprentices in Canada. More than 550 students and apprentices compete in more than 40 trade and technology competitions.

Three other Lethbridge College students competed in the Provincial Skills Canada Competition in Edmonton: Taylor Scoville in Carpentry; and Arnond Avila and Danny Peters in Heavy Duty.


Inaugural innovate ag competition winners announced


Lethbridge College’s Agriculture Entrepreneur in Residence (AgENT) program is proud to announce the winners of the inaugural Innovate Ag competition. Teams pitched their solutions to industry-provided problems to a panel of expert judges during the April competition. The winning teams were:

• First place - “Full Circle Foods” - Grant Vossebelt, Mallory Adams and Evan Weir. This team’s innovative idea tackled the issue of food waste. They also won the People's Choice award.

• Second place – “Haskii Inc.” - Stefanie Vandenberg and Anjo Van Driel. Their innovative idea diversified southern Alberta’s agriculture with a high-value crop and value-added products.

• Third place - “Ag Consultants” - Brody Wauters, Joshua Leith, Katy Van Garderen and Ryan Devisser. Their innovative idea addressed the industry-provided challenge of improving communication.

The winning team at Innovate Ag 2019 - (L to R): Grant Vossebelt, student; Cor Van Raay, AgENT donor; Mallory Adams, student; Evan Weir, student.

Photo courtesy Isaiah Mason.
Wider Horizons
Story by Lethbridge College
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