Like most young boys, Albert (A.J.) Wood, from Lawrencetown, Annapolis Co., loved big trucks and he was determined to turn that interest into a career.
“I’ve been around heavy equipment my whole life,” said Mr. Wood. “My dad was a mechanic and I used to spend a lot of time at the garage with him.
I was always interested in how the parts worked. I also worked on a farm in the summers during high school and spent a lot of time around the equipment.”
After high school, Mr. Wood enrolled in the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) pre-apprenticeship program and registered as an apprentice shortly after graduation. Last year he was certified as a heavy duty equipment technician.
“I was amazed at how much I was required to know. There’s a lot more to earning your Red Seal than you think. The road doesn’t end here, just because I have my certification doesn’t mean I’m done learning. I’ll always be looking to learn more so I can stay on top of the latest equipment.”
Mr. Wood is among more than 160 newly certified journeypersons being recognized at an event in Digby on Saturday, May 30.
His father, James Wood, nominated him for this year’s Apprentice Award of Excellence. “He has a strong work ethic, great knowledge of the trade, and a way of really inspiring others on the team to keep learning. He’s even taught me things that have helped me do my job better.”
Danny Surette, from Tusket, Yarmouth Co., and Paul Robicheau, from Wedgeport, Yarmouth Co., are being recognized with this year’s Mentor/Coach Award of Excellence.
Danny Surette, an experienced and certified carpenter and instructor at NSCC, was nominated by one of his former students, Mark Surette, a recently certified Red Seal carpenter from Arcadia, Yarmouth Co.
“Danny saw the potential in me. He really gets to know his students, and helps them work through problems so they succeed,” said Mark Surette.
“Paul’s high standard of work, his emphasis on the importance of professionalism, and his concern for onsite safety sets an example for anyone working alongside him,” said Duncan McDonald, Paul Robicheau’s nominator and a Red Seal Certified plumber from South Ohio, Yarmouth Co.
Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan commended Nova Scotia’s newest journeypersons on their accomplishments and emphasized the importance of apprenticeship for the province.
“These new journeypersons have worked hard to earn their certification,” said Ms. Regan. “It’s taken a great deal of dedication, perseverance and hands-on hard work for them to get where they are. They’re now in a position to help prepare the next round of apprentices for good jobs here in Nova Scotia.”
The apprenticeship celebration is a bi-annual event sponsored by industry, the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency and NSCC.
Nova Scotia’s apprenticeship system is vital to getting people ready for jobs in the skilled trades. The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency is focused on improving the number of apprenticeship opportunities in the province, and helping apprentices complete their journey to certification.
More information about apprenticeship is available at www.nsapprenticeship.ca/ .