As early as high school, Michaela Potts knew she didn’t want to spend her days working an office job. The idea of sitting behind a desk from nine to five was the furthest from what she imagined her life being.
“I wanted to do something with my hands,” Michaela said. “I took automotive throughout high school and fell in love with it.”
That’s how she ended up in CNC’s Career Technical Centre (CTC) program. The CTC program lets high school students take college trade courses while earning dual credits towards their high school graduation.
“They let me come in and do it for a day to check it out and see how I liked it,” she said.
And she liked it a lot. The two semester CTC program is longer than a traditional 10-week Foundation program. Michaela also appreciated how in-depth she could go with her automotive training in the CTC program.
“I love problem solving,” she said. “Every time something comes in you have to diagnose it, figure out the issue. It’s fun. I like being physical in my day-to-day work and always having something to do.”
As for CNC instructors, Michaela said they were incredible even describing one of as “a walking encyclopedia.”
“We had a small class, so were able to get lots of attention when we needed help,” she said.
Now 23 years old, Michaela has completed all fours years of automotive at CNC in Prince George and written the Red Seal exam. She just needs another 400 hours before becoming certified, which she will likely get this year in her full-time job at D-line Auto & Tire Ltd.
During the program, Michaela quickly went from working at McDonalds to working at a couple shops around town.
“I’ve been very fortunate,” she said. “I haven’t been without work at all. The hardest part is finding somewhere that fits you and that is looking for someone. If you’re willing to work hard, you will find work.”
Michaela encourages high school students to consider CNC’s CTC program.
“Even if kids don’t want to do the trade they’ve chosen, it gives them a start to make decent money and save to go to school for whatever,” she said “You won’t have to take out $50,000 in student loans.”