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Cambrian College program brings small engine repair to remote community

Sudbury college strikes partnership with Hishkoonikun Education Authority in Kashechewan
(Cambrian College Facebook photo)

There is no classroom too far away and no programming that cannot be adjusted to meet the needs of students seeking upgraded skills and education to benefit the communities in which they live.

That is certainly the case with a unique partnership between Cambrian College and the Hishkoonikun Education Authority in Kashechewan. 

The two organizations have teamed up to teach small engine repair to eight students who live in communities along the James Bay Coast.

“The skills learned this summer will provide far-ranging benefits for our students and their home communities,” said Emma Williams, director of education for the Hishkoonikun Education Authority in a news release from Cambrian.

“Because we are in a remote part of the province, it’s not as easy to access these skills and we rely on these small engines and other machinery to work properly for the day-to-day functioning and independence of our communities.”

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The three-week course provides students with the basic standard repair skills and maintenance on typical small engines.  The courses include engine theory along with hands-on experience troubleshooting and repairing standard small engines that are commonly found in lawn mowers, chain saws, and outboard motors.  

Given the remote location of Kashechewan, the course was modified to include longer days of instruction over a shorter time. The course should be completed by the end of the month.

“We truly believe that as a leading college in northern Ontario, we need to make sure there are no boundaries to education in our region,” said Sue Ferguson, chair of employment options at Cambrian College in the same release.

“Hishkoonikun told us that their students prefer in-person learning, preferably in familiar surroundings, so we made the changes to the course that were necessary to allow us to take the training to them, in a very efficient way. We’re very honoured to work with Hishkoonikun and the community to make this happen.”