In our Workforce Series, where we share stories from local people who work in some of our region’s most important industries, we talk to Gordon Bouchard who recently took part in the Welding Training program through the Ogwehoweh Skills and Trades Training Centre (OSTTC).
OSTTC is a community owned Indigenous training and post-secondary institute that serves The Six Nations of the Grand River Territory and surrounding communities and runs various skills training, professional development and trades programs. It is owned and operated under Grand River Employment Training Inc. and is located in the village of Ohsweken.
Gordon now works as a welder for Walters Group in Princeton. Walters is a family owned steel construction company that designs, fabricates, and constructs commercial and industrial projects throughout North America. They often recruit for various opportunities on their Careers Page.
In our feature, Gordon talks about the high demand for welders, switching careers to secure his future and career options, his passion for his new role and the satisfaction he gets from feeling he is making a contribution to society through his work.
Watch our interview with Gordon here: https://youtu.be/ePqp-1cLU4M
Some additional highlights from Gordon:
“I knew there was a demand for the skilled trades and welding but I had no idea just how big it was, there are literally jobs everywhere. I had my own business for 20 years that was affected by the pandemic and going into welding was not only to create job security and provide for my family, it was coming full circle. I was considering becoming an auto mechanic when I was young, my father and grandfather were millwrights so I have those roots. It’s come full circle now with going into a second career doing something I enjoy, that mentally stimulates me and that I expect to do until I retire”
“The OSTTC program was great – during the 8-week program I attained 5 welding certificates and had the qualifications to get my foot in the door after completing the program.
On advice to young people – be flexible – when you are young and not tied down and you want to get ahead and make as much money as possible, take the different shifts and work your way in…it may be tough for a few years but then you will get to pick and choose more of what fits your life and home situation when you are older”
“My long-term goal is to get into quality control/inspection in another 10 years after getting all the tickets and training to get me there – and by then expertise in the field under my belt”
Thank you to Gordon for sharing his story with us! Looking to explore a career or find a job? Check out Grand Erie Jobs – the biggest career and job site in our region!