Skills training, community service combine in unique learning partnership

Originally posted: May 29, 2018

Mathieu Hrynchuk at Cushman project launch

Grade 11 Auto Mechanics student, Mathieu Hrynchuk, is Lead Mechanic on a project to restore vehicles from WPS fleet for parade, museum display

The duo of Cushman three-wheeled carts has not seen active duty as part of the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) fleet since the 1980s. Though idle and a little worse for wear, these gas-powered oddities from a bygone era still piqued the interest of those attending a May 24 project launch between MITT and the WPS.

The goal of the collaboration? To restore the vehicles to their former glory for encore careers in parades and as display fixtures in the WPS Museum’s ever-expanding collection of artifacts.

From left: Grace Leduc, Dean of Trades and Services and Principal of MITT High School, Gord Perrier, Deputy Chief, Winnipeg Police Service, Christine Payne, member, MITT Governing Board, and Mathieu Hrynchuk, Grade 11 Auto Mechanics student and Lead Mechanic on Cushman restoration

The seeds of the partnership were planted by WPS Museum board members Gord Perrier, Deputy Chief, and John Burchill. Over the next several months, students in MITT’s Auto Mechanics and Welding programs will hone their crafts on vehicles that offer a basic, learner-friendly design on the one hand, while on the other, introduce common challenges—like seized parts and rust damage—they will encounter as professionals.

Mathieu Hrynchuk explaining the finer points of the Cushman restoration to Winnipeg Police Service Deputy Chief, Gord Perrier

Mathieu Hrynchuk, a secondary student in MITT’s Auto Mechanics program, is Lead Mechanic on the project and spoke about the challenges of the task, including a funny observation that the Cushmans last saw action in the WPS fleet at least a decade before he was born. Jokes aside, Hrynchuk showed a keen interest in the restoration, leading countless guests on a walkthrough of the vehicles, describing their basic layout, and describing the scope of work the students have ahead of them.

Hrynchuk’s enthusiasm demonstrates how community collaborations, like the Cushman restoration project, can provide unique and exciting learning experiences for MITT students, a sentiment MITT President and CEO, Ray Karasevich echoes.

“MITT is excited about this partnership with the Winnipeg Police Service,” says Karasevich. “It’s a unique and multidimensional learning opportunity for our students to apply their skills and discover the value of contributing to the community and, in this case, to the proud history of the Winnipeg Police Service.”

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