– My name is Kate Mills and I go to Conestoga College. I am in the Cabinetmaking Apprenticeship program and I work in Port Hope, Ontario at John Mills Antiques Restorations. – Hi, I’m James Maw and I’m taking the Construction Techniques Multi-Trade course. – My name is Matthew Shackleton.
I’m currently a Tool and Die student at Conestoga. – My name is Morgan McKinney, I go to school here at Conestoga College. I am a first-year Automotive Service Technician Apprentice. – As a Weston Family Scholar I’ve been able to really transition out of my first career into my second career as a cabinetmaker. And it’s really made what should have been more of a financially stressful situation, be a really easy transition. As there is a great demand for those in skilled trades, including Tool and Die, I feel it’s very important for me to share my own experiences and put others in my shoes, so that they can see the great opportunities that come within the skilled trades. – In one of my presentations that I did, I was with a small group — 10 kids. It was early in the morning, they did not want to be there, but they listened. Two of the kids from that class, they talked to their teacher after I had left. I got an email from her telling me that I had basically changed the way the kids thought about school. Changed the way that they viewed the fact that they had to sit in a class for eight hours a day. I told them that in my shop, I spend the first three hours of my day working on cars. I bring in my own car, I get to work on it, I get to learn things that I’m going to be driving. – One of the skills that I got from being a Weston Scholar is mentorship. Being able to be a mentor for people. During the open house event in Waterloo, I was able to communicate with people who weren’t quite sure what to do, or were already involved in the course and just wanted more information. – So right now in school, what I’m doing is stuff in the fuel systems. We just finished the electrical and I’ve done the workplace. So, all of the safety procedures and everything you need to first start off. Right now I’m a day release apprentice, so I get to work one day of the week in the shop here on Mondays. And then I work in my proper shop over in Acton every other day of the week. – When I first started this program, I didn’t really know what I was going to do or if I was really prepared for it. And so, when I first went in I was a little nervous. I didn’t know anybody coming in. And out of it, I’ve made a lot of new friends. I’ve become very comfortable working with the gases and electricity within the environment. And I’ve enjoyed it. – Once I become a certified tool and die maker, it gives me the opportunity to work worldwide at various companies, in sectors such as agriculture, automotive and nuclear. – There really is a lot of career opportunities for me. It takes ten years in the trade to do teaching. It takes a longer time to own a business. But I get to kind of live in that situation almost daily. When it comes to the Weston program, I get to do my practicing on teaching. When it comes to working at the shop, I get to deal with the business aspect. I get to learn the ins and outs.
I get to learn what the price margins need to be, how you keep your staff on, how you bring in jobs, how you do different marketing tactics. – As a Weston Scholar, it’s kind of like a two-way street. You have on one side, people who have already been through what you’re going through. They have information that they can provide for you. And on the other side, you have information that you can provide for others. So for example, when I first started I wasn’t really sure what I should do for plumbing. However, other students within the scholarship have helped me be able to understand what I want to do. – My career goals are really to establish myself more in furniture and a background in cabinetmaking definitely supports that. It has elevated my career so far. It’s really been helpful to know that I have the support of the scholarship behind me.