Camille’s Story: Building Confidence in the Trades
Camille joined the Open Door Group Women in Trades Training (WITT) program, funded by the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training through the Industry Training Authority (ITA) during the summer of 2017. Prior to joining WITT, Camille was working part time as a restaurant server. Camille had completed a science degree, but was unable to find any work that used her education, which left her feeling unfulfilled.
“With support from her Employment Facilitator, Camille realized that she wanted to pursue a career as an Electrician.”
Camille learned about the WITT program through an online ad while she was searching for work. She had never had any exposure to the trades and had never considered it prior to the information session, but she loved doing physical, detail-oriented work. In talking with the Employment Facilitators and Carpentry Instructors, she felt like the WITT program would provide a supportive judgement free learning environment for her to explore the Trades.
While participating in the WITT program, Camille developed new skills and learned about different opportunities in the trades. With support from her Employment Facilitator, Camille realized that she wanted to pursue a career as an Electrician. Upon completing the WITT program, Camille was provided additional funding through the program to take the Electrical Foundations program at Electrical Joint Training Committee in Port Coquitlam.
Camille feels like electrical is a perfect fit for her because of her background in science – she loves that working in electrical provides a tangible use of physics and chemistry. To Camille, electrical is “this magical thing where you use electrons to power buildings.” She appreciates the amount of education and knowledge required to bring power to a building or community and the responsibility that goes with that knowledge.
“Camille is excited about the future of women in the trades.”
While the Open Door Group WITT Program focuses on building skills through carpentry and joinery, Camille has been able to apply the knowledge she gained in the program, such as how to frame a house and how to use hand and power tools. Camille is excited about the future of women in the trades. While she believes that electrical may be one of the more accessible trades for women, Camille is still one of only two women in her Electrical Foundations class of fifteen. Camille states that she was only able to pursue the foundations level course because of being able to first build her trades knowledge and confidence with the supportive and inclusive environment of the WITT program.
While completing her foundations program, Camille is also working part-time in the woodshop at Tradeworks, a partner organization of Open Door Group. Eventually, Camille’s dream job is to have her own electrical business. Although she recognizes that her path in the trades is just starting, the skills and support she received from Open Door Group make her excited and confident in the journey.