Portrait: Manual trades and technical

In Student Business by dlobjoie

On Monday, February 20, I had the chance to meet Mario Rochon, the deputy director of the Montreal School of Construction Trades, a passionate man who will surprise by saying that vocational training is not for everyone: it is exclusively for those who want to go there and get there!

Tell me about your organization.
“The Eastern School of Trades was inaugurated in the 1940s and our school dates from 1992, when the professional centers were established. We are the largest school in the field of construction in the Montreal region. There are 17 training programs with an average of 800 students per day. Courses are also offered in Lévis, Sherbrooke and customized training for businesses is offered. ”

Tell me about the construction sector in Montreal.
“The construction sector is influenced by economic conditions. After the last 15 years when there has been a lot of construction demand, the sector is slowing down a bit and by 2020 it is expected to take off again. In Montreal, however, we know that as long as we see orange cones, it is a sign that professionals in concrete preparation and finishing are busy! (Laughter). A big city like Montreal can not do without a center like ours. ”

Tell me about your school and vocational training.
“Vocational training has been badly perceived for a long time. We are used to being told that we are a siding, I prefer to think that we are a suitable alternative for students for whom the secondary education system is less suitable. Our clientele is different from other schools. On the other hand, here she is in her element. We offer more practical, more concrete courses. Our clientele is predominantly male and we have all kinds of profiles. We have young people who do not fit in with regular programs, students who come in from university and who are reorienting, fathers and mothers in lone-parent families, people from prison, and often all in the same group.

Tell me about your experience as a Student Business mentor.
“This is our third year in the program. Last summer, eight students were introduced to five different degree programs and trades. When I was 16, I would have liked someone to show me something other than CEGEP. I was in industrial design and CEGEP did not suit me. The preconceived ideas about vocational training already existed at the time and it was not an option that was presented to me. ”

Would you recommend the Student Business Program? ?
” Whenever ! When we decided to get involved and we understood the program, we were so excited that we wrote a letter to the parents. I could not imagine that students on vacation would, of their own free will, take the time to come to school to discover trades. We are increasing the number of students this year. We can not wait for next summer! ”

A message to send to young people ?
“Two important sentences: the only barriers we have in life are those we impose ourselves and everything is possible. I rely on my personal journey and I confirm it: everything is possible. No matter what we do in life, if we like it, we do it right and we’re in the right place, that’s the key! ”


This interview was conducted on February 20th with Mr. Martin Rochon, Deputy Director of the Montreal School of Construction Trades.

This article is included in a series of articles that will be broadcast on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week this spring, they were made from the deserving organizations 2016 of the 15th edition of the Student Business program!