KKETS grads

Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services students take part in a graduation ceremony on Tuesday at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium.

It was a big day for 74 graduates of the Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services (KKETS), on Tuesday.

The adult learners were recognized for successfully completing the 2018-19 Aboriginal Skills Advancement Program (ASAP) and earning their Ontario Secondary School Diplomas.

“Today, 74 more of our adult learners have the Ontario secondary diploma and that is 74 more than we had yesterday,” Joe Baxter, president of KKETS, told The Chronicle-Journal.

Baxter is proud to see the number growing with 398 graduates in the past six years.

The Aboriginal Skills Advancement Program started six years-ago as a pilot project.

“Success is being shown and the this success is being driven by the students will and abilities to learn,” he said.

“It gives them their second chance,” said Baxter, they had that opportunity when they were teenagers, but now they can move forward.

The ASAP program is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities but KKETS is waiting for the provincial government decision on future funding.

Baxter said the waiting list for the program has about a thousand names on it.

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