“Even thought we are new to business ownership, I feel that it’s very important to get involved in events or opportunities to help others grow in their careers in the construction industry or develop skills and improve confidence in their current situation.” says Muriel Torchia Shyjak, one of the owners of MG Electrical/Mechanical Services Ltd. While working on her own professional development and networking in her new role, Muriel has been encouraged and grateful to all of the amazing people she has met so far in her journey.
At the end of June this year, both owners volunteered to attend as a guest employer at the Meet the Graduates of the Construction Employment Preparedness Program (CEPP) after being asked by Carol Paul, the Executive Director at MCSC. The 16-week program, offered in partnership by the First Peoples Development Inc. and Manitoba Construction Sector Council (MCSC), introduced over 20 First Nations people to carpentry and the construction sector. Many of the graduates had been displaced from their homes due to flooding, some had not been able to return in over 2 years.
The training program included a 3-week Job Readiness Certificate Program, and 1 week Construction Safety Association of Manitoba Awareness Certificate, earning a First Aid Certificate, and 12 weeks of technical training including the use of power tools and carpentry training. At the end of the course, the students volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and built a shed from start to finish, a project that the students Muriel and Caleb spoke with were really excited and passionate to talk about.
Muriel and Caleb spent part of the morning meeting with the graduates one-on-one to chat, conduct mock-interviews, and give feedback on what an employer would be looking for from a hiring perspective. The individuals they had the chance to meet with were all eager, well-spoken, skilled, and spoke passionately about the training they had just completed – especially how much they had enjoyed working with their hands and building something they could be proud of. Both owners were really impressed with the program, the instructors, and most of all, the students that spent the time taking the course.