May 26, 2021

AFDE – Building Careers

(Photo Above) Troy Van Bostelen presents Eric Harding with a voucher for his celebration of achievement. (Sharon McLeod, Brittany Brinkworth, Eric Harding, Troy Van Bostelen, Ronnette Paul) 

The GSS Project offers a unique opportunity for individuals who are interested in the Trades – especially Carpentry.  Our Carpentry Apprentices are indentured with CMAW, one of our partner Unions.  CMAW tracks the Work-Based Training hours and works with ITA (the Industry Training Authority) to track the apprentices’ progress.  The scope and duration of our Project will allow an individual to complete all of the Work-Based Training hours requirements while employed by AFDE.

Eric Harding has been an employee on AFDE’s Generating Station and Spillways Project at Site C since the fall of 2018.  The Project was just getting underway when he joined us as an entry-level Carpentry Apprentice.  Eric recently reached a milestone in his goal to become a Journeyman Carpenter.  On April 30th 2021, he completed his Level 4 Technical Training at Northern Lights College.

Eric is the first employee at AFDE to start as an entry level apprentice and complete all 4 Levels of Technical Training while continuously employed with AFDE.  Although he still requires some additional hours of Work-Based Training to qualify for his Red Seal, he will have no problem completing those hours while employed on the Project.

In order to celebrate his achievement, Troy Van Bostelen from AFDE presented Eric with a voucher for a Milwaukee Skillsaw.  Eric is a member of the Doig River First Nation, one of the Treaty 8 First Nations on whose Territory the Site C Clean Energy Project is being constructed.  Joining us to recognize his hard work and commitment were (L-R in photo above):

Sharon McLeod: BC Hydro, Indigenous Employment and Training, NE Region (Duncan’s First Nation)
Brittany Brinkworth: Councillor, Doig River First Nation
Ronnette Paul: Red Sealed Carpenter and CMAW Job Steward; VP Under-Represented Minorities, CMAW Canada (Okanagan Indian Band)

AFDE currently has between 25 and 30 Indigenous employees who are in various stages of pursuing their apprenticeships.  Eric recognized the opportunity and is always willing and eager to promote the Trades to Indigenous youth.  His advice for others who are thinking about a career in the Trades: “Just find something you like to do, or even think you would like to do, and go to work – you’ll know pretty soon whether it is the right fit.  You get the training while working, and you earn good money while doing it.”

Thanks Eric, and Congratulations!

Eric Harding represents AFDE at a career fair targeting Indigenous youth, and sponsored by the Doig River First Nation (March 2020)