- Position: Heavy Equipment Operator
Until October, 2013, I had been employed in the education industry. I had been considering a career change to heavy industry/ mining for quite some time, but had little idea about how or where to start.
All of my applications went un ‐ responded to. I had no close personal connections with anyone working in the industry, I had no recent employment experience within the industry, and most education pathways that would provide me with the knowledge and experience to make me competitive through the application process were financially impossible for me to take part in. In short, I possessed the determination and drive to reach my goal but lacked the resources and skills necessary to gain an interview and show that I was the person they were looking for.
Upon a visit to the Metis Employment and Training office in Cranbrook, I learned of an opportunity to take part in a program that would afford me the chance I needed to gain these skills. It was a 10 week Heavy Equipment Operator program that would provide students with operating time on excavators, front end loaders, bulldozers, road graders, articulated rock trucks and rubber tire backhoes, as well as daily class time where we would learn about the safety practices, laws and other information that was essential for heavy equipment operators.
This opportunity was the stepping stone I needed to gain a foothold into my new career, and without the financial support of Métis Employment and Training, as well as the personal support and assistance from the great office staff in Cranbrook, I am sure that I would still be struggling with the “how’s” and “where’s” of beginning my new career.
I am currently working for a construction company in Cranbrook on a project by project basis. I have had some equipment time with them, but I have been working mostly as a laborer. Although this position is not what I have been aiming for, it has been a very good learning experience for me, allowing me to gain exposure and working knowledge within the industry to which I now belong.
I will continue to learn and advance as a heavy equipment operator, and would like to share my appreciation with Métis Employment and Training for helping me with the beginning of this journey.