April 29, 2019 --
Heavy Metal Rocks, held by the Northern Regional Construction Association, wrapped up for another year on Saturday, April 27. In partnership with School District No. 57, the College of New Caledonia and WorkSafeBC, the event gave School District No. 57 students the chance to operate pieces of heavy machinery and connected them with potential employers.
Students from Grades 10 to 12 were at the Pitman Asphalt gravel pit, located off Foothills Boulevard. Assisted by professional operators, they got first-hand experience at the controls of multiple machines. After safety training at CNC on Wednesday, the students worked full days at the gravel pit on Thursday and Friday and had a half-day on Saturday.
"It puts 32 students onsite to see what the real world looks like, see if this is the way they want to go," said Kimberly Soule, Manager, Marketing & Communications for the NRCA.
"I think a few of them have only an idea and then they get out here and they realize how big the machinery is and what it actually looks like and then they start to operate it. It's a neat process."
This was the 16th year for Heavy Metal Rocks, which has a track record of success.
"Some of (the students) actually make it into the trades and into the industry," Soule said. "They're put in touch with all of the members that are out there – industry leaders."
Soule said the NRCA received 68 applications for the 2019 edition of Heavy Metal Rocks. Applicants had to go through an interview process to get into the program. This year, seven of the participants were female.
"I think this is the biggest group of women that we've had in the program to date," Soule said.
Heavy Metal Rocks is made possible by the support of NRCA partners and donors, who provide services, equipment and materials, volunteer their time and contribute financially to the event.