Raised in Burns Lake, Katerina (Kat) Van Horn, 24, was struggling to find meaningful work when she heard about the Skilled Labourer program at CNC. Her efforts to get out of the customer service industry and find work in the trades left her feeling frustrated and discouraged. The Skilled Labourer program provided her with the bridge she needed to get ahead.
The program is a full-time, ten-week program that introduces and prepares young adults ages 18-24 for a variety of roles in the construction and manufacturing industries. This program includes occupational skills in carpentry and construction, industry certifications like Confined Space, Rigging and Lifting, WHMIS etc., job placement and/or practicum experience, as well as an essential skills component and job readiness training.
Out of the trades offered throughout the program, Kat enjoyed carpentry the most as it was a favourite activity she shared with her grandfather as a child. The Job Readiness course equipped Kat with stronger job seeking skills, such as how to properly email prospective employers and following up with thank you letters to build and foster stronger connections.
“The trades shops are well maintained and spacious with safe equipment and the instructors were very knowledgeable,” she said. “They were helpful with our projects and answering all our questions.”
She highly recommends this program, as it provides those who have little to no job experience with an opportunity to learn something new and get their foot in the door within the trades industry.
Currently, Kat is upgrading her math in order to qualify for the Heavy Mechanical Trades program at CNC.
“The Skilled Labourer program has taught me that no matter what is going on outside of the classroom, you will make it through as long as you keep trying your best,” she said. “It has given me the chance to grasp my future, change my life and do what I want to do.
The Skilled Labourer program has also impacted Kat’s life by giving her a new group of friends who have supported and encouraged one another throughout and beyond the duration of the program.