Pan Am Games, a once-in-a-lifetime chance for students

Tickets for the Pan Am Games will go on general sale December 8, 2014. Authorities anticipate 7,600 top athletes from the Americas and Caribbean at compete at more than 30 venues located in 16 municipalities across southern Ontario. (Mehreen Shahid / The Sheridan Sun)

Tickets for the Pan Am Games will go on general sale December 8, 2014. Authorities anticipate 7,600 top athletes from the Americas and Caribbean at compete at more than 30 venues located in 16 municipalities across southern Ontario. (Mehreen Shahid / The Sheridan Sun)

STORY BY MEHREEN SHAHID

Sheridan students are pitching in to contribute their services to Toronto’s biggest sporting event, the 2015 Pan Am Games.

What makes it important for Michael Near, a second-year Investigations student, is “the fact that you get to work at an international event but also locally. It’s a really fascinating opportunity that I’m looking forward to.”

Gary Galbraith, program co-ordinator for Emergency Management and Investigation: Public and Private, was approached by Contemporary Security Canada to fill positions for security guards at the upcoming international sporting event.

“We feel the students are well prepared,” said Galbraith, referring to the emphasis placed on experiential learning in the program.

“We also ensure that students have access to provincial licenses to be security guards and investigators in Ontario. We orient our curriculum to help students be well prepared for the provincial test to become a security guard or an investigator.”

Two key positions CSC advertises are screening guard and supervisor. Derek Gagne, a senior manager at CSC, explained that students hired for these positions will be screening guests and athletes and patrolling inside the venues.

Galbraith said student placements in semesters three and four help prepare them for emerging opportunities in industry and in security and investigations.

“The classes teach you for pretty much any scenario,” said Jason Copperthwaite, second-year investigations student. “We go through all protocols and different situations we may be in and use of force and how you’re supposed to act in such a situation.”

In their search for students to hire, CSC has been to various colleges around Ontario, focusing mainly on institutions that have specific police foundations, investigations and emergency management programs. Sheridan has all three.


MORE RELATED TO THIS:


Gagne added that those hired “will have the opportunity to work on a large-scale event, and the chance to work very closely with various police services at the venue. We’ll be providing, uniforms, meals on the venue and there are bonuses and the package is quite competitive.”

Students will be working outdoor shifts varying between eight and 12 hours and the wage could range anywhere from $17 to $21 an hour. Those who possess an Ontario Private Investigator or Security Guard license will be given a $600 bonus.

For 24-year-old Michael Voung, gaining real-life experience with the Pan Am Games is important. “And it will look good on my resume. The pay is obviously good. [I will] get to know people and make some contacts for jobs in the future.”

At the moment, CSC recommends that students apply as soon as possible. There are tertiary requirements for those not currently licensed as security guards. “We should be able to cover that between now and the end of the year. But we will be hiring during the new year as well. I encourage those who don’t have a licence right now to get it. It makes their chances better for when they apply next year,” said Gagne.

Near, 23, said, “I’m just really looking forward to using the skills involved in this program and putting them to good use. I want to put up a good reputation for the college and show off what we learn here.”

One Response to Pan Am Games, a once-in-a-lifetime chance for students

  1. Paul St-Onge December 28, 2014 at

    Congratulations to all the students and graduates for recognizing the excellent opportunity being provided by CSC. Keep up the GREAT work.