The winner of this year’s Apprenticeship Award of Excellence loves working with her hands. Kathy Lantz, of North Sydney, has a passion for cars, which led her to the Nova Scotia apprenticeship system. After four years and hours of classroom and on-the-job training, she is now a female journeyperson in the male-dominated automotive trade. “Being a female working in a man’s world hasn’t always been easy,” said Ms. Lantz. “But, the support I received through my employer and the apprenticeship system helped me realize my dream.” “I encourage everyone, women and men alike, to explore a career in the skilled trades. I am glad I did.” Ms. Lantz’s workplace performance earned her the Apprenticeship Award of Excellence. This award recognizes a newly certified journeyperson who has made outstanding contributions to the professional image of the employer, supporting others in the workplace, demonstrating a strong work ethic and being an active member of their community. “In the shop we have a motto that says if we can’t do it, it can’t be done,” said Ralph Ivey, Ms. Lantz’s employer at Ralph Ivey’s Auto Repair. “Kathy puts that motto to use on a daily basis. There is nothing she can’t or won’t do for a customer. Believe me, if she can’t do it, it cant be done.” Ms. Lantz is one of 340 apprentices who have become newly certified journeypersons and received certificates of qualification in Cape Breton and the Northeastern Region of Nova Scotia since 2005. The Department of Labour and Workforce Development is presenting certificates of accomplishment to these newly certified journeypersons at a celebration event in Sydney on Saturday, May 3. “More and more, Nova Scotians are realizing that the skilled trades offer great training and employment opportunities,” said Mark Parent, Minister of Labour and Workforce Development. “These graduates are going to have very rewarding careers because they took advantage of the training offered through the apprenticeship system in Nova Scotia. I am looking forward to seeing the contributions they will make in our workplaces and economy.” The Department of Labour and Workforce Development will also present awards of excellence to recognize two outstanding mentors. The mentor/coach award of excellence will be presented to Brian Jessome, automotive service technician with Ralph Ivey’s Auto Repair in North Sydney, and Ray Maclean, carpentry instructor at the Nova Scotia Community College, Marconi Campus, in Sydney. This award recognizes an employer, supervisor, instructor or other mentor who has served as a role model and demonstrated qualities of superior teaching, enthusiasm for the trade and a strong commitment to the progress of apprentices in their program. The Department of Labour and Workforce Development’s apprenticeship training and skill development division supports the advancement of skilled trades through training opportunities, certification and reinforcement of professional standards. More information about the apprenticeship system is available at www.nsapprenticeship.ca .