2018 Barbara Wright Award Presented to Skilled Trades Mentor

 In recognition of their outstanding mentorship to local students enrolled in the skilled trades, the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) is pleased to announce the 2018 Barbara Wright Award winners.

This annual honour is named after former OYAP Coordinator/Facilitator Barbara Wright, a longtime advocate and passionate supporter of skilled trades related programs for students in Bruce and Grey Counties.  Two recipients are determined by a selection panel of education and community partners, who review nominations received from students, staff, and other stakeholders in the categories of Mentor in Education and Mentor from the Community.  Nominations reflect the extent to which the mentors have provided sponsorship, encouragement, and support for apprenticeship and the development of local students in the skilled trades. 

           (L-R) Owen Sound District Secondary School coop teacher Kevin Whitehouse, OYAP Coordinator/Facilitator Dave Barrett, Richard LeBlanc of Dunn’s Electric, OSDSS coop teacher                                                                                     Michelle McNeill

The 2018 Mentor from the Community has been awarded to Richard LeBlanc of Dunn’s Electric in Owen Sound.  Over the past 15 years, Richard and his business have been a huge supporter of apprenticeships and cooperative education in the Owen Sound area, providing coop experiences for approximately 25 students and hiring at least five of them.  One of the students has even gone on to open their own electrical contracting business, which in turn, also accepts coop students. 

Richard is always supportive of students and treats them with respect.  He has proven himself as a successful role model for youth who are interested in the skilled trades, and has actively supported OYAP.