Two St. Clair College students received gold and silver medals during a national skills competition that had 350 students and apprentices from across the country competing for the title of national champion in over 45 skill areas.
The two represented Team Ontario in the 2022 Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC), in Vancouver over the past week.
Gina Marinelli, graduating from Office Administration, Executive program captured a gold medal in IT Office Software Applications.
Megan Rennie, graduating from the Fashion Design Technician program, received silver in the Fashion Technology Mode Et Creation.
Sheri Epp, coordinator of the Office Administration, Executive program, said Marinelli was required to demonstrate proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite. The task was to perform high-level exercises in Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Access. The tasks were given a time limit and the competitors were told they were designed to be very difficult to complete in the timeframe given. There were many distractions, as the other competitions were held in the same hall. Along with the noise of these competitions, there were thousands of high school students watching the events.
Epp said Marinelli maintained her focus, stayed calm under the pressure, and was able to complete all tasks.
“This is the third time St. Clair has sent an Office Administration, Executive student to Skills Canada,” Epp said. “We have won a silver and now two golds. It is very rewarding to know that the OAE program at St Clair is one of the best in Canada.”
St. Clair College President Patti France congratulated the two winners and noted that St. Clair College students can compete against some of the biggest schools in the country, and triumph.
“We are incredibly proud of what Gina and Megan were able to accomplish on a national level,” France said. “These two students personify our school’s motto of rising above the ordinary.”
Medals were awarded to the top competitors in six skilled trade and technology sectors, including transportation, construction, manufacturing and engineering, information technology, services, and employment. The competitors were evaluated based on strict industry standards.
Megan's competition included designing, pattern drafting, and constructing a fully lined tailored coat in 18 hours.
Elaine Chatwood, the coordinator of the Fashion Design program, accompanied Megan to the competition. Chatwood described it as a high-pressure event, with strict deadlines and judges watching over the competitors. "This whole process has been a learning experience for me too and I have gained so much knowledge that I can share with all our students," Chatwood said.
The goal of SCNC is to engage Canadian youth and promote all the exciting and lucrative careers that are available to them in the skilled trades and technologies. It is the only national multi-trade and technology event of its kind for young students and apprentices in the country.