Kaitlynn Young has used education to construct a career in a non-traditional field for women: carpentry.
The 26-year-old recently completed the Women in Skilled Trades – Enhanced General Carpentry for Women program at The Centre for Skills Development and Training in Burlington.|
Kaitlynn is now awaiting approval to join the Carpenter's Union in London to work in the field.
The 29-week Enhanced General Carpentry program gives women the training they need to work in Construction.
The Brantford woman was motivated to build a career with support from her family, especially her parents.
"I was tired of working dead-end jobs, and I wanted to pursue a career and start my life and carpentry has always been a passion of mine," Kaitlynn says.
Kaitlynn has been selected as a 2017 Education Champion by the Education WORKS Alliance, after being nominated by the Brant Skills Centre.
Her journey began by taking a 4-week Apprenticeship Pathway program at the Brant Skills Centre in Brantford, learning about apprenticeship and improving her literacy and essential skills.
As part of the program, Kaitlynn researched pre-apprenticeship programs, deciding on the free Burlington program.
Kaitlynn received emotional and practical support from her mother and father, who helped her purchase a car, which she needed to get back and forth to class in Burlington.
A big obstacle for her was overcoming her discomfort sitting in a classroom.
"I kept telling myself how important it was for me to attend classes and complete the program, and just focus on my work and my future," she said. "I also tried to block out my negative thoughts and turn them into positive thoughts."
Kaitlynn feels proud that she has taken the initiative and worked hard for the last year, and looks forward to finding a job in carpentry.
Story by Mark Skeffington, Education WORKS Alliance