Merit Contractors Awards NLSD $400,000 for Skilled Trades & Scaffolding Training Courses

Students in the Northern Lights School Division (NLSD) now have the opportunity to learn about construction and skilled trades through hands-on programming funded by Merit Contractors Association.

NLSD was awarded a $400,000 Merit Educational Initiative Grant. With the funding, NLSD has created:

  • Skilled Trades Exposure Program at Cold Lake Middle School.
    •  This program is accessible to students at Cold Lake Middle School and three outreach schools.  Students are learning how to operate hand and power tools, read plans and build projects.
  • Scaffolding Training Centre in Bonnyville.
    •  Programming is expected to start in September, 2016. Students who attend the centre will have the opportunity to receive scaffolding certification and safety certificates.


Malcolm D. Kirkland, Merit President, says NLSD had an impressive proposal to receive the grant, “NLSD planned to create a sustainable model of developing well-educated, experienced and work- ready students who will make an impact on the local and provincial workforce, and they are making it happen.”

Arlene Hrynyk, Northern Lights School Division Board Chair, says the Merit Educational Initiative Grant is having a real impact on students throughout the region, “the construction shop at Cold Lake Middle School was mainly a storage room, now it’s a place that provides an opportunity for students to learn, build and develop skills that will be valuable down the road, not only for them as individuals, but for the local economy.”

In total, Merit Contractors Association is spending $1.2 million during the 2015-16 school year, to fund seven initiatives in schools throughout Alberta. These schools submitted proposals to expand or create programs aimed at introducing students to skilled trades. Merit will be announcing the next grant in February of 2016.

What a great day at Cold Lake Middle School! Merit Contractors Association announced $400,000 in funding to help us provide trades training to our students. The money will be used for two programs: a construction program for students at Cold Lake Middle School, Cold Lake Outreach School, Fishing Lake Outreach School, and Bonnyville Outreach School; and a high school scaffolding program at our Trades Exposure Program Centre -NLSD

*Press Release from Merit Contractors & Northern Lights School Division

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