Current Job: Apprentice Millwright, Whistler Blackcomb
Current City: Pemberton, B.C.
Hometown: London, Ont.
Education: Bachelor of Environmental Studies,University of Waterloo, 2006
Millwright Apprenticeship Program, British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), 2010
Jordan’s Story: Jordan was a strong student with the ability to succeed in whatever field he chose. But throughout his degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo, he realized he wanted a more hands-on career. Today, he’s an award-winning millwright, and he couldn’t be happier.
Jordan’s Career Path
Do What You Love
Jordan knew he loved working with his hands. But after graduating from high school, he couldn’t decide which direction to take. He was interested in the environment, so he enrolled in a Bachelor of Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo and got a lot out of the experience. But it didn’t take long to realize that he wanted to take a more hands-on approach to his career. “I always had an interest in heavy equipment, and machinery in general,” says Jordan. “Anywhere there is any type of machinery, there are millwrights there to build, install and maintain (it).” So he found summer work in the field at his family’s metal fabrication shop and at a local farm. From that time on, he was hooked.
Find a School that Fits
As soon as he completed his environmental studies degree, Jordan took a job with Doppelmayr CETC, installing ski lift lines throughout western Canada. He also enrolled in the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s (BCIT) Millwright Apprenticeship Program, which provided him the opportunity to learn from trade professionals in a formal setting. “BCIT offers a skilled group of individuals who have been out there and worked in the industry, and who now focus on passing their knowledge on to the new generation of millwrights,” says Jordan.
Be the Best You Can Be
After two years as an apprentice with Doppelmayr CETC, Jordan was offered the opportunity to continue his apprenticeship on Whistler Blackcomb’s lift maintenance crew. Impressed by his work, Jordan’s chief millwright instructor at BCIT asked him to represent the school at Skills Canada BC’s province-wide trades competition. Jordan came in first, and moved on to represent B.C. at the 2009 Skills Canada national trades competition. He won that, too. “I would definitely have to say that this was one of the highlights of my career,” he says. “It was a great way to see a different part of the country and meet other young people involved in the trades.”
Create Your Own Opportunities
If travelling the country and meeting tradespeople is something Jordan wants to do more of, he certainly chose the right career path. He’s about to become a Red Seal certified journeyperson millwright, which will enable him to work anywhere in Canada. “For the time being, I plan on staying with Whistler Blackcomb,” he says. But in the future, “I am interested in making a move to the hydro electric power generation industry, or in the mining industry up north.” For someone with Jordan’s skill set and qualifications, the sky’s the limit.
–“There are so many options available to a young millwright or prospective apprentice. Look for an industry that interests you.”