What is the High School Co-Op Student / Cooperative Placement Program?
The High School Co-Op Student Program is a school run program that allows students to earn school credits towards their compulsory high school graduation requirements, while learning in an active work environment. For the past twenty years Putney’s has actively taken on a role as a Co-Op Business Partner with both the Catholic School Board and the Public School Board. Each semester we make available one Co-Op student spot to have youth come for a three hour period every day to work with technicians and or the office staff. We have had a wide variety of youth over the years coming from Cathedral Secondary, Churchill Secondary, Sir John A MacDonald and Delta High School. It is NOT a TRADES Only program. I have met Co-Op Students in Dental offices, Hospitals, Restaurants, Colleges, Universities, Factories and even the Armed Forces Base downtown. If you have something to teach your business could have a co-op student.
What do they Students Learn and What do they get to do?
Our Technicians are old school hands on people. Students coming in the door are taught safety in the work place, how to sweep floors and empty garbage cans and basic shop procedures. They are offered the chance to gain experience in a real entry level position but if they show a desire they work with Technician Mentors to learn the proper diagnosis of brake systems, steering and suspension and exhaust issues. They are taught the proper use of tools and how to perform oil changes and brake systems service and repairs. They learn how to dismount and mount tires and how to properly balance it. If they show interest we will train them to look up parts online, create work orders, answer phones and interact with customers. There really is nothing in our business or any other business we cannot take the time to show an interested individual how to do. They need only show a desire to learn.
Generally, we get the satisfaction of knowing we helped a young person gain knowledge and experience in the work force. Gave them a chance to try on a career and decide if it was a good fit for them. We get floors swept a little more often and the garbage cans emptied daily. We also get a little morale boost. We get to Mentor and feel good about what we do and the chance to pass information on about important life skills. Occasionally we get a good fit and that Co-Op Student develops into an Apprentice Technician entering into the program and becomes a great employee. If a student signs up on the Apprenticeship Program the business does receive training tax credits to help with the learning curve of a new employee. Many of my apprentices are now my clients. Returning to get work done by the honest shop that they got to grow in.
For information about the local Co-Op Student Programs in Hamilton check out. The Catholic School Board Site and The Public School Board websites or call the local secondary school nearest your business.