The first graduates of the first-ever Nuxalk Carpentry program are finished their first year and ready for more.
Dustin Newcombe, Colton Mecham, Louie Edgar, and Keisha Schooner have all completed their first year and are planning to move forward in their fields. Instructor and facilitator Richard Hall, Assets Manager with the Nuxalk Nation, was also very pleased with the results.
“My experience as first year carpentry program was very valuable, it is the opportunity I needed to pursue a lifetime career,” said Newcombe. “The class room was very well managed, the home support system and class room support system created the opportunity to success and the benefits are; that many doors open for me in the field of carpentry.”
“Dustin brings to the community skills and work habits that meet and perhaps go beyond construction standards, he was energetic and displays this to class, and he leads by example,” said Hall. “I see him as natural leader in the field of construction and we as nation are blessed to have him.”
Colton Mecham said the carpentry apprentice program gave him the opportunity to “re-connect with my family and ancestral heritage.” The class bridged new relationships and new friends, the group formed study class and fueled off the strengths of one other, leading to success.
“Completion of first year program opened many doors for me, my friends from the city of Victoria invited me to work for them and I see this as opportunity to have a good career,” Mecham concluded.
“My experience to take first year carpentry open doors and gave me the opportunity to move forward to other fields of construction,” said Louie Edgar. “Once I completed first year carpentry I reflected back to the first year class room and found that the group support and class room support gave me tools and study habits I needed for to find my strengths to pushed me into the electrical program. I now completed first year class as electrician with 95 % average and final exam of 99%.”
“Louie grasped at the opportunity to fully engage in the trade’s field, he was selected carpentry and through the process of completing first year carpentry. I found as manager his problem solving and math skills equipped him with new opportunities beyond his imagination and now pursuing the avenues of becoming electrician,” said Hall. “He is a single parent and independently raised his child and never had the funds to pursue a career.”
Keisha Schooner said the experience in the carpentry program has opened many opportunities for her.
“Before I started this program I was working on getting a teaching degree in the NITEP program. I still have a year and a half to go, which I am still fully committed to completing. Now that I’ve also taken first year carpentry I have a new goal, I would like to pursue both lines of education with hopes of bringing carpentry and/or trades to our local community/Nuxalk school,” said Schooner. “This experience has also given me more skills that will be contributing and improving my personal life. I am a mother and a homeowner and now have some of the skills to build and complete projects at home, such as, wood shed so I can stock up on wood to heat my home for my family, build a smokehouse, to preserve food fish, and as well as completing rooms in my unfinished basement. Before this program I was very unfamiliar with power tools, but now I can proudly say I own my own skil-saw, and other small tools!”
“This program has allowed Keisha to find and validate her magnificence,” said Hall. “She will be a fine teacher and is an excellent drafts person.”