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OSCO Partners with Local High Schools

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October 1st, 2008

Program will provide students with opportunities to explore careers in drafting

SAINT JOHN, NB – The OSCO Construction Group is partnering with educators from Saint John high schools in District 8 to bring new, state-of-the-art software to students and promote careers in the field of computer-animated drafting.

“We were seeing a real need to recruit young people and show them the kind of interesting, technical work that we do,” says Lisa Frazee, Engineering Drawing Manager at Ocean Steel, part of the OSCO Construction Group. “We recognized the opportunity to create a win-win situation by partnering with local high schools. We can provide educators with the training they require to operate one of the more advanced drafting software tools available, so they can expose students to our field and its many opportunities.”

Frazee, along with colleagues from Strescon, also part of OSCO, met with teachers and staff to understand what tools are currently being used in high schools and to identify ways to collaborate to bring innovative software to the classroom.

“The teachers told us that students were often frustrated in their AutoCAD (computer aided drafting) courses because of old systems and slow processes,” explains Frazee. “We offered to help by donating our time to train teachers on SDS/2, the state-of-the-art software that our companies use everyday to create 3D drawings.”

Over the summer, OSCO worked with District 8 to acquire the industry-leading software, which is free to schools, and to demonstrate its use to teachers. The training highlighted applications for the program, which can be used for work with steel, wood, or concrete. OSCO also began planning an on-site training session for all AutoCAD teachers, which will be held at an OSCO facility in October.  

“Once training is complete and the software is made available in all four high schools in District 8, students will have the opportunity to take their interest in drafting to the next level,” says Henrietta Burns, Learning Specialist for District 8.  

“This software is a fantastic resource for students,” adds Burns. “After more than 30 years in education, I’ve learned that innovative programs like this often introduce young people to their future career. This software definitely has the potential to do that as it allows us to add to the menu of courses that students can choose from.”

Showing teens the career potential of 3-D drafting while they’re still in high school is something that Kelly Lanigan, HR Recruiter with OSCO, is certainly interested in.

“Currently, there is no secondary-level training designed specifically for people who are interested in working as a drafting detailer,” explains Lanigan. “Now, we will have the chance to recruit students whose primary interest is detailing for co-op terms and some may even continue to work with our company after graduation.” 


About the OSCO Construction Group
The OSCO Construction Group is a collection of companies based in Saint John, New Brunswick, operating in steel, concrete and construction.  Formed in 1955, the companies serve markets throughout Atlantic Canada, the Eastern US and the Caribbean. The Group operates offices and plants in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Maine, Massachusetts and New York. Member companies include Ocean Steel, Strescon, FCC Engineering, Marque Construction, York Steel and Schurman Concrete.

For more information, please contact:
Jennifer Parker
(506) 202-2992

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