More South Shore students are getting new opportunities to develop skills that employers want. Community Services Minister Denise Petersen-Rafuse announced today, Oct. 22, a new Skilled Trades Centre and major renovations, including a new roof, sprinkler system and efficiency lighting, at Forest Heights High School in Chester Basin. “Students are telling me they want good jobs that will allow them to work and stay at home,” said Ms. Peterson-Rafuse, on behalf of Education Minister Ramona Jennex. “By linking the classroom to the workplace, students are able to make career choices about skilled trades. This school is at the heart of the community and parents want it to stay that way.” Students can take Skilled Trades 10 in the new centre next September. Grade 11 courses will be available later in the 2013-14 school year. “I’m a hands-on learner and this program fits my learning style,” said Matthew Croft, a Grade 10 student. “I plan to pursue a career in mechanical engineering with the Canadian Armed Forces. Skilled Trades will give me the experience I need to excel at the Royal Military College.” Skilled trades students also receive, and can keep, essential equipment such as hard hats, safety glasses and safety shoes. “As a school, we are excited to welcome skilled trades education because of the resources it brings and the opportunities it gives our students to explore the trades as a career option,” said John Doucette, vice-principal at Forest Heights. Forest Heights is the 11th school in the province to have a state-of-the-art skilled trades centre. The renovations also will extend the life of the school by 20 years. Forest Heights has about 300 students in grades 10 to 12.