Hello, my name is Brenda Hunter or Bren for short. I started this journey three short years ago, in March of 2007.
I saw a Trade Winds to Success advertisement on the bus one day going home after work and thought it represented a fantastic opportunity for Aboriginals alike and being Aboriginal myself, I decided to call and gather more information about the program.
I spoke to a woman named Rachel and she said to come in for an aptitude test and she would then also explain the process of the program to me. So, I came down and after I had listened to what the program entailed I knew that I could not afford to let this opportunity slip through my fingers.
The program itself was fantastic, all of the coordinators and people involved are wonderful and helpful and were very supportive and still are! I really enjoyed every aspect of the entire process and would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I am proud to have been a part of Trade Winds to Success.
In late August of that same year, I began the start of my journey as a Boilermaker apprentice in Fort McMurray, Alberta. It is without a doubt, the BEST decision I have ever made and I am very grateful and appreciate the people in my life who have helped me along the way as I continue growing forward, both in my life and my career.
Subsequently, in December of 2009, I finished my last period of technical training at NAIT and in July of 2010, received both my journeyman ticket and Red Seal in the Boilermaker trade. Currently, I am the first graduate of Trade Winds to do this. I hope in the near future there will be many more...
I am a successful, proud, Aboriginal sister of Trade Winds and...
I am a BOILERMAKER.
(As a Journeyperson Bren makes $40.23 per hour)
Edward Joseph Chalifoux
Journeyman Welder – Edmonton TWTS
Currently am employed with Melloy Industrial Services (member of the family PCL companies) with the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 146 at the Kearl Lake Oil Sands in Ft. McMurray, Alberta as a Journeyman Welder.
I was making $16.00 -$18.00 hour with Bauce Construction before Trade Winds. After completion of Trade Winds, I was hired by CESSCO and started at $21.50 per hour. Now as a journeyman, I make $40.23 hour.
The Trade Winds program introduced me to other First Nations pre-trade candidates who wanted to start a career in the trades and not just be stuck in a job. The Trade Winds program, in partnership with the Boilermaker Union, provided me with 2 months of hands on learning which gave me the skill set I needed to start a welding career which I began at CESSCO Fabrication Ltd. Without Trade Winds, I know that joining a union and starting a career as a Welder would not have been as easy, if even possible.
Through Trade Winds continued interest and support in my career and well being coupled with the skills I have developed as a welder, the confidence I have in myself and the pride I have as a First Nations person continues to grow.
Life has gotten a lot easier. When I 'm not working, I can come and go as I want to where I want. I can spend money on the things I want and the people I love.