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TechWORKS! Chronology

How Did TechWORKS! Begin?

The Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC) is the provincial association for technology professionals. The Association currently represents over 9,000 career professionals in 15 disciplines and a growing number of special certifications. ASTTBC's vision is to be a lead organization in the promotion of careers in technology, helping ensure that skilled technology workers are available to meet the growing needs of industry.

Five years ago ASTTBC sought a broader role in which the Association would award an ASTTBC certificate to secondary school graduates completing approved technology programs. The result is TechWORKS!, a province-wide career development initiative for secondary school students with an interest in applied science.

1995-1997 - TechWORKS! Video and Teacher's Guide
Teachers GuideTechWORKS! was launched in 1995 with the production of a video showcasing career opportunities in technology. This was followed in 1996 by a complementary teacher's guide. This initiative led to the concept of a technology career continuum, from improved career awareness and quality work experience at the secondary school level through to life-long learning and professional recognition.

(Copies of the video and guide are available for $50Cdn by contacting techworks@asttbc.org)

1997-1998 - Secondary School Work Experience Pilot

The TechWORKS! concept moved closer to reality though a partnership between ASTTBC and Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC).
HRDC funded a pilot that resulted in TechWORKS! partnering with the Langley, Surrey and Coquitlam school districts to identify 60 technology-focused work experience opportunities for Grade 11 and 12 students.

1998-1999 - Program Expansion
Following the success of the pilot, the TechWORKS! Secondary School Work Experience program expanded to partner with all 15 school districts in the Lower Mainland plus the Central Okanagan school district.
The growing program, still funded by HRDC, identified 175 work experience opportunities and began building stronger linkages with employers, associations and the provincial Ministry of Education.

1999-2000 - Further Expansion & New Initiatives
A further five school districts partnered with TechWORKS! - Greater Victoria, Saanich, Qualicum, Nanaimo-Ladysmith and Prince George.
The BC Ministry of Education began funding TechWORKS!
Nearly 300 quality work experience placements were allocated to participating school districts, bringing the total for the first three years to well over 500.
In partnership with the provincial Information, Science and Technology Agency (ISTA) and other sponsors, ASTTBC distributed 140 high-visibility technical career information displays called TechBAR! to secondary schools in participating districts.
At the suggestion of Lower Mainland high tech employers, TechWORKS! initiated a mentorship program to place secondary students with post secondary co-op students in the workplace.

2000-2001 - Continued Growth
The BC Ministry of Education expanded its support of TechWORKS! Secondary School Work Experience program to include a second BC Interior school district for a total of 22 districts.
Work continued on ASTTBC's goal to award certificates to secondary school students who demonstrate competency on completion of technology-focused career preparation programs.

Career awareness program implemented in partnership with the Association of Engineers and Geoscientists of BC. Repeated in 2002.

2002 - TechBAR! II

Updated TechBAR! distributed to every public secondary school in 58 of 59 school districts in British Columbia (280 units).

Final year of TechWORKS! Work Experience Program with BC Ministry of Education and participating school districts. Over 1,200 Grade 11 and 12 students participated between 1997 and 2002.

Fire Protection Youth Internship Program introduced in partnership with HRDC and local fire protection industry employers. Repeated in 2003.

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