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Students Build Classic Car To Raise Funds For Skills Training

February 21, 2012

RRC President Stephanie Forsyth (third from right), with some of the RRC students and instructors who will assemble a 1933 Modified Ford to be raffled off later this year.

There’s nothing that looks better in your garage than a classic car.

Skills Canada Manitoba has paired up with long-time partner Red River College to build a 1933 Modified Ford that will be raffled off later this year to raise money for young Manitoba students and apprentices who are pursuing training and accreditation in skilled trades and technology areas.

Skills Canada Manitoba annually hosts an Olympic-style competition for provincial students apprentices in 42 different skilled trades and technology areas.  Gold medalists from Manitoba go on to compete in their skill areas nationally and, if successful, internationally at a World competition.

The 1933 Modified Ford kit was purchased by Skills Manitoba from Factory Five Racing, and the replica will be constructed by more than 100 Red River College students and apprentices in several different trades and technology program areas, including Automotive Pre-Employment, Automototive and Motorvehicle apprenticeship, and Collision Repair and Refinishing, under the supervision of highly-qualified instructors.

“They’re going to take all of the knowledge and teachings they learn in the classroom and actually put it into practice,” said Leonard Grieve, an instructor in the Auto Mechanics department at RRC. “They’re going to be seeing how the car goes from bare bones to a finished product, and they’re able to take ownership of it and see the fruits of their labour.”

The car kit includes an engineered frame assembly, and a layer-built by hand fiberglass body that will clothe the car’s components. Working on this project will be an opportunity for students to enhance their skills and show their quality workmanship all while competing their coursework – the build of the car will be an integrated part of the 2011-2012 school year.

“Our motto at Skills Canada Manitoba is supporting career development through education and technology, and we’re really excited that the students are going to be able use their education and skills working on this project,” said Maria Pacella, executive director of Skills Canada Manitoba.

Once the car is completed, it will make its debut at the World of Wheels Car Show on March 16 – 18 at the Winnipeg Convention Centre, and Skills Canada Manitoba and Red River College will continue to showcase the vehicle throughout the spring and summer. Anyone who is interested in owning this classic car replica only needs to buy raffle tickets, which are selling for $10 for one entry, or $20 for three entries. RRC President Stephanie Forsyth (pictured above) purchased the inaugural ticket last week.

Raffle tickets will be sold at any location where the 1933 Modified Ford is being shown – car shows, mall promotions, and special events at locations including Winnipeg, South Beach Casino, Morden, Selkirk, and Steinbach.

“The significance of this car is huge for us. Students can apply the skills they have mastered but more importantly they take pride and ownership in the vehicle. Students will show up at one of the events where the finished car is being displayed and show their family the car that they helped to build,” explains Neil Cooke, chair of Transportation, Math and Science at Red River College. “They are always very proud of their work.”

The winning raffle ticket will be drawn on Sept. 18, and the new owner’s name will be announced. Getting behind the wheel and cruising down the road in this classic piece won’t take long, since the vehicle will be handed over to the winner with a full safety inspection and will be registered with MPI as a 1933 Modified Ford with its own unique Vehicle Identification Number.

However, an ambitious project like this can’t come to fruition without help. Manitoba Public Insurance, a long-time supporter of Skills Manitoba, has already generously donated a whole police vehicle to be used for parts of the car that were not included in the kit – like a motor and transmission.

Other sponsors that have already come on board to support the project to date include; NAPA, Chase, Merit Contractors, Wilf’s Elie Ford, Fountain Tire, LKQ, Sobering Electric, Mitchell, Vale, New West Metals, United Association Local 254, Dr. Hook Towing, Maxim Powder Coating, Interstate Batteries, Creative Display, Seven Oaks Transmission, and Auto Trader.

Sponsors who have contributed $2,500 to $10,000 will receive recognition from Skills Manitoba and will also have their name on the trailer that will carry the 1933 Modified ford to the various events where it will be showcased in Winnipeg and the surrounding area.

Pacella explains that by supporting the fundraising initiative, people will be giving young students and apprentices competing in Skills Canada competitions the opportunity to strengthen their skills.

“Money raised from this fundraiser will go towards Skills Canada Manitoba career awareness programs, and helping the students and apprentices continue on in skills competitions nationally, and internationally,” said Pacella. “Competing in the competitions gives students the opportunity to expand their area of expertise, and enhance their knowledge.”

Article written by Hayley Brigg, RRC Creative Communications Student