Barriere teens excel at Heavy Metal Rocks

Seven Barriere Secondary students represented their school and community in the Heavy Metal Rocks program held April 6-9, in Kamloops. Pictured are; (l-r) Spencer Schilling, Ryan Corie, Becky Bradley, Jake Bradley, Tanner Schilling, Justice Nystoruk, and Drake Parent. (Wanda Nystoruk photo)Seven Barriere Secondary students represented their school and community in the Heavy Metal Rocks program held April 6-9, in Kamloops. Pictured are; (l-r) Spencer Schilling, Ryan Corie, Becky Bradley, Jake Bradley, Tanner Schilling, Justice Nystoruk, and Drake Parent. (Wanda Nystoruk photo)
Barriere grad student Justice Nystortuk is operating this machine on his own building a log house – one log at a time, at the School District 73’s Trades and Transitions department’s Heavy Metal Rocks competition in Kamloops. (Wanda Nystoruk photo)Barriere grad student Justice Nystortuk is operating this machine on his own building a log house – one log at a time, at the School District 73’s Trades and Transitions department’s Heavy Metal Rocks competition in Kamloops. (Wanda Nystoruk photo)
Jake and Trevor Van Sickle from KG Contracting in Barriere volunteer each year at the Heavy Metal Rocks program and competition to train students on the log loader, processor, and skidder. (Wanda Nystoruk photos)Jake and Trevor Van Sickle from KG Contracting in Barriere volunteer each year at the Heavy Metal Rocks program and competition to train students on the log loader, processor, and skidder. (Wanda Nystoruk photos)
A Barriere Secondary student is just exiting the giant machine on the left during School District 73’s Trades and Transitions Department’s Heavy Metal Rocks competition in Kamloops. (Wanda Nystoruk photo)

The 14th annual Heavy Metal Rocks program, presented by School District 73’s Trades and Transitions Department, geared up and returned to Kamloops on April 6-9, after a two-year COVID-19 hiatus.

Twenty-six grade 11 and 12 students were given an opportunity to explore a wide variety of rewarding career choices as heavy equipment operators thanks to forestry and construction industry certified professionals who gathered together to provide the teens with one-to-one guidance and mentorship.

Seven students of the 26 were from Barriere Secondary School; Becky Bradley, Jake Bradley, Ryan Corie, Justice Nystoruk, Drake Parent, Spencer Schilling, and Tanner Schilling.

Participating students were selected by an interview panel, and then received training for a first aid certificate, construction site safety, and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) training.

Barriere’s teens outdid themselves at the event, showing their abilities and bringing home a number of awards, including: Jake Bradley – $500 Pit Boss Award, sponsored by Westlund, a Division of Emco; and Becky Bradley – $500 Student’s Choice Team Spirit Award, sponsored by Kamloops-Thompson Principals & Vice Principals Association.

Becky Bradly also won the fastest female time in the Stobee Rodeo Mini-Excavator Competition and the Top Girl Award. Justice Nystoruk won Top Simulator Operator and Top Speed Moving A wiggle Ball in a Basket, and Tanner Schilling took home the Top Guy Award.

“The Heavy Metal Rocks program is a remarkable opportunity allowing our students to experience the operational aspect of heavy equipment,” said Ron Collins, 2022 program chairperson. “This program is a valuable resource to address our growing skilled trades’ labour shortage.”

The 2022 Heavy Metals Rocks program was made possible by the volunteer efforts of 50 companies and sponsors including WorkSafe BC; City of Kamloops; Acres Enterprises Ltd.; Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas; Stobbe Excavating Ltd.; Universal Freight and Transportation Inc.; New Gold; Interior Safety Network Ltd.; Extreme Excavating; and the Tk’emlúps Secwépemc Indian Band.

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District of BarriereKamloopsNorth Thompson Valleyskilled trades