In partnership with George Brown College and the Children’s Aid Foundation, the annual BOLT Day of Discovery was a great success for the Tridel team. BOLT (Building Opportunities For Life Today) is the brain project of Tridel’s President Leo DelZotto, who wanted to play an active role in helping youth pursue the many opportunities available in construction. Besides getting an “insider’s look” at what a career in construction would look like, participants of the event are informed of steps they need to take to build a solid foundation of trade skills. This involves enrolling in courses and receiving apprenticeship training at a school like George Brown College, where most trade professionals in the GTA have gone to receive their education.
This year’s event started off with introductory remarks by Leo, which ended up having the inspirational quality and passion of a motivational speech. Although slated to be merely 5-7 minutes long, he was effortless in engaging the crowd for over 16 minutes about the history of BOLT and why a career in trades is tremendously rewarding. It was a heartfelt speech that prompted several participants in the crowd to nod along with every word he said.
Before heading off to the Parc Nuvo site in Etobicoke, Safety Manager Robert Fletcher provided a safety overview where he stressed the importance of hard hats and safety boots. Everyone then piled onto the bus for a grand tour of the construction site. With the bus packed, AJ and I made the terrible choice of taking the car and commencing what would end up being our day of road confusion. Riding in AJ’s behemoth of a car, we took multiple wrong turns which led towards dead ends and one-way streets. I’d like to believe we had a faulty GPS signal.
Finally arriving at the site, we filmed interviews with Assistant Super John McIlravey and Estimator Josh Wills, who talked about the BOLT Program and what they thought about the Day of Discovery. Both expressed great enthusiasm about the event and the opportunity for participants to check out construction at Parc Nuvo. Making our way back to the school for a catered lunch (but not before we got lost on the road again), the lunch presentation involved speeches from Filippo Bello of Tridel’s BOLT Committee and Peter Muto of George Brown College.
To finish off the day, the large group was divided up for the afternoon activities around campus. With each activity lasting 30 minutes, groups rotated through the workshops to learn more about coin stamping, computer viruses, and the AutoCAD software. What I particularly liked was the way everything was so hands-on and interactive – instead of simply being lectured about the mechanics of how things worked, we actually got to press the buttons for coin stamping and play around with computer software.
I’m very glad I got to take part in the Day of Discovery – besides learning a lot about the great selection of courses available at George Brown College, we got to meet some of the participants and chat with them. Most were genuinely interested in a career in trades, so they were very involved with asking questions and engaging themselves in the activities. After Leo’s speech, they even asked his advice on how to get the proper training despite not necessarily having a lot of financial resources. For more photos of the event, please visit the Photo Gallery or Tridel’s Facebook page. Below is AJ’s video of the event as well as a brief soundbite of President Leo DelZotto explaining the meaning of BOLT.