SUMMERSIDE — Holland College is offering two short courses starting in January at its Summerside Waterfront Campus starting to see if there is enough interest in further courses in the future.
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Chris Weeks, a recent graduate of woodworking/cabinetmaking program at Summerside Waterfront Campus, works in the area where the college’s evening short courses will be offered in the new year.
On offer will be introduction to carpentry and fine woodworking, said Andy Gallant, the college’s manager of contract training.
The college has offered numerous short evening courses in the past as its campuses throughout the province and hopes to do the same in Summerside, said Gallant.
“They’re a non-credit. They’re general interest, typically. They can lead to interest in programs,” he added. “The college is usually pretty good to respond fairly quickly to public interest. If I do hear there are groups that would like training in any of our facilities, in any of our programs I can organize that through our department.”
Introduction to carpentry begins Jan. 14 while introduction to fine woodworking starts on Jan. 9.
The course lasts eight to 10 weeks and goes one evening a week for three hours.
Donnie Brown will teach introduction to carpentry while Graham Hicken will instruct fine woodworking.
“They’re red seal carpenters and red seal instructors,” said Gallant. “They are full-time program instructors so this is evening work for them. They love what they do and they have full-time programs during the day.”
In both courses, participants will be taught safety in the workshop, safety use of tools and will build a project.
With introduction to carpentry, the final project, which students get to take home, will be a bench. The fine woodworking project will be a more sophisticated piece for inside the home
Gallant said no experience is needed to enroll in either short course “just an open mind to learning new skills.”
“When they see it done properly and someone’s taking time to watch them and observe them and critique and give them some feedback, there’s a lot more confidence,” he added. “This is a scary point for some people, even with hand-powered tools, that they don’t want to hurt themselves or they don’t want to hurt the tool. By having instruction with a full-time instructor, there’s not too much they haven’t seen before and people do make mistakes. We have a lot of scrap wood to go through.”
All equipment, except for safety footwear, is provided. Classes can accommodate between 12 to 16 people.
“The first couple of nights people will be very self directed. They’ll be working independently but under the supervision of an instructor.”
Gallant hopes there is enough interest in the courses to prompt the college to offer more evening short-courses at its Summerside campus.
Already, the college is looking at offering welding and is looking for input from the public on what other short courses it would like to see.
“It’s a premiere offering. We’re really excited about it,” Gallant said of January’s evening courses. “There’s good, solid learning that is going to take place. For a lot of people working with their hands and turning out a product and learning something at the same time can be very rewarding.”
The courses are $285 each.