Transcript: Free trades training in Hamilton | Apr 12, 2018

An animated slate appears with the caption “The agenda, with Steve Paikin.”

Nam sits in the studio of “The Agenda.”

Nam is in her forties, with mid-length curly brown hair and wears glasses, a blue top and a blue blazer.

A caption reads “Accessing post-secondary education.”

Nam says THIS IS FROM OUR PRODUCER AND
HOW MOHAWK COLLEGE IS TRYING TO
GET RID OF THE BARRIERS THAT ARE
PREVENTING PEOPLE FROM BEING IN
SCHOOL.
LET'S TAKE A LOOK.

A clip shows a woman drilling a hole on a wall.

A caption reads “Elizabeth Fleming. City School student, Mohawk College.”

Elizabeth is in her fifties, with short wavy gray hair and wears glasses and a black sweater.

She says I JUST LOVE TO DO IT.
I LOVE TO BE AROUND LUMBER.
LOVE THE SMELL OF THE WOOD.
I LOVE TO HAMMER.
I LOVE TO DRILL.
I ASK THE QUESTION THEY ASK AT
JOB INTERVIEWS, WHERE DO YOU SEE
YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS?
IS BECAUSE I NEVER SAW HERE.

A reporter says THIS IS
HAMILTON'S NEWEST POSTSECONDARY
OFFERING, A MOBILE CLASSROOM TO
OFFER PEOPLE A TASTE OF THE
TRADES OVER THREE ACTION-PACKED
WEEKS.
IT WAS ROLLED OUT IN THE FALL
AND WHAT MAKES IT ESPECIALLY
UNIQUE IS THE COST.

Curtis says THE BEST PART ABOUT IT IS
THAT IT WAS FREE, AND I'M LIKE,
WOW.
THIS IS GOOD STUFF.

Curtis is in his late forties, with a shadow of a beard and wears a white T-shirt, a gray sweatshirt, a ray jacket and a cap hat.

The reporter says THE TUITION-FREE
MODEL IS A STAPLE OF MOHAWK
COLLEGE'S CITY SCHOOL.
THE PROGRAM WAS LAUNCHED IN 2015
WITH THE INTENTION OF REMOVING
BARRIERS TO POSTSECONDARY
EDUCATION.

The caption changes to “Emily Ecker. Mohawk College Associate Dean.”

Emily is in her forties, with mid-length curly brown hair and wears a printed black and white blouse and a pair of hoop earrings.

She says WHAT WE WERE HOPING TO DO WAS
BRING COLLEGE EDUCATION RIGHT
INTO THE CLASSROOM.
IT'S OUR UNDERSTANDING IT'S NOT
CURRENTLY BEING DONE AT THIS
LEVEL, OFFERING FREE COLLEGE
CREDITS WITHIN MARGINALIZED
COMMUNITIES.

The reporter says FOR 56-YEAR-OLD
ELIZABETH FLEMING, IT'S ALSO AN
OPPORTUNITY TO PURSUE A
POSTSECONDARY PATH MUCH
DIFFERENT THAN THE ONE SHE FIRST
SET OUT ON.

Elizabeth says I WAS A LAWYER.
SH, DON'T TELL ANYONE.
PEOPLE LOOK AT YOU DIFFERENTLY.
[LAUGHTER]
BECAUSE I WASN'T HAPPY.
I WAS STRESSED OUT.
I WAS WORKING 60 HOURS A WEEK.

The reporter says HANDY WORK HAS
BEEN SOMETHING SHE'S BEEN DRAWN
TO SINCE SHE WAS LITTLE.
NOW SHE WANTS TO TRY TO MAKE A
LIVING AT IT.

Elizabeth says MY PARENTS WERE WORKING CLASS
AND I GOT THE VERY DISTINCT
IMPRESSION WHEN I WAS A KID IS
THEY WERE LOOKING AT US TO GO TO
UNIVERSITY.
MANY PEOPLE IN MY DAD'S FAMILY
WERE TRADESPEOPLE BUT IT WAS
VIEWED AS LESS THAN GOING INTO
THE TRADES.

The caption changes to “Robert Weatherston. City School instructor, Mohawk College.”

Robert is in his fifties, clean-shaven and with short wavy gray hair. He wears a gray T-shirt under a gray, blue and orange plaid shirt.

He says THAT'S A BIG PART OF THE CITY
SCHOOL.
ANYBODY CAN JOIN IN THE
EDUCATION, LIKE THERE ARE NO
LIMITS OR LIMITATIONS.

The reporter says CURTIS BLAKE
ALREADY HAS SOME TRADES
EXPERIENCE, STILL HAD TO
OVERCOME THE CHALLENGES OF GOING
BACK TO SCHOOL AT AGE 48.

The caption changes to “Curtis Blake. City School student, Mohawk College.”

Curtis says THE FIRST DAY I CAME IN, I
WAS A LITTLE BIT NERVOUS BECAUSE
I'M SAYING, WHAT IS IT THAT I'M
DOING?
IS IT SOMETHING I ALREADY KNOW?
AM I GOING TO BE DOING A LOT OF
THEORY?
HOW AM I GOING TO COPE BECAUSE
I'VE BEEN AWAY FOR SO LONG?
BUT THEN I REALIZED THAT, YOU
KNOW, YOUR FEAR BASICALLY KEEPS
YOU BACK FROM LEARNING AS MUCH
AS YOU CAN.
IF YOU RELEASE THAT FEAR AND LET
IT GO AND JUST MOVE FORWARD TO
WHATEVER IT IS THAT YOU WANT,
YOU CAN ACHIEVE IT.

The reporter says OVER AT
HAMILTON'S EVA ROTHWELL CENTRE,
FUTURE CAREER PLANS ARE ALSO
TAKING SHAPE AT ANOTHER FREE
CLASS.
THIS ONE, THOUGH, IS AN
ALL-FEMALE ONE.

The caption changes to “Rebekah Ioannidis. City School instructor, Mohawk College.”

Rebekah is in her forties, with mid-length wavy black hair and wears a black top underneath a plaid green shirt.

She says WE'VE DONE THE ELECTRICAL,
WE'VE DONE THE DRYWALL.
WE DID A LITTLE BIT OF
BACKSPLASH TILING, HOW TO
INSTALL A VANITY AND MOUNT IT TO
THE WALL.
WE'RE GOING TO BE DOING SOME
PLUMBING.
WE'RE SHOWING RESULTS HERE.
AND NOT JUST IN WHAT WE'RE
BUILDING BUT WHAT IT'S DONE FOR
THESE GIRLS, EMPOWERING THEM AND
GIVING THEM CONFIDENCE AND
HELPING THEM TO MAKE DECISIONS
AND FEEL CAPABLE.
GOOD GIRL.

The caption changes to “Mercedes Fisher. City School student, Mohawk College.”

Mercedes is in her twenties, with mid-length brown hair in a side part and wears a red T-shirt and a blue hoodie.

She says I REALLY ENJOYED THE
ELECTRICAL.
I'VE APPLIED TO A
PRE-APPRENTICESHIP STARTING IN
JANUARY.
WHEN YOU'RE AN APPRENTICE, YOU
GET PAID TO LEARN SO THAT'S
REALLY GREAT.
I HAD NO IDEA HOW
APPRENTICESHIPS WORKED BEFORE.

The reporter says JUST LIKE
ELIZABETH MERCEDES HAS PAID THE
PRICE OF POSTSECONDARY PRESSURE.

Mercedes says TUITION IS ABOUT 20 GRAND.
I PAY LIKE 375 A MONTH AND I
DON'T HAVE A DEGREE TO SHOW FOR
IT.

Rebekah teaches Mercedes how to lay tiles.

Mercedes says LIKE THAT?

Mercedes says I REMEMBER MY DAD SAYING TO
ME WHEN I SAID I WASN'T SURE
WHAT I WANTED TO DO, HE SAID
JUST GO TO UNIVERSITY AND YOU'LL
FIGURE IT OUT.
WELL, I'M 28 AND THAT WAS TEN
YEARS AGO.
I HADN'T FIGURED IT OUT.

NO ONE EVER SUGGESTED
COLLEGE.
NO ONE DEFINITELY EVER SUGGESTED
TRADES IN MY FAMILY.
EVEN THOUGH I HAVE A LOT OF
HANDY PEOPLE IN MY FAMILY, BUT
THEY'RE ALL MALE.

The reporter says REBECCA LEARNT
HER SKILLS IN A MALE-DOMINATED
ENVIRONMENT.
SHE WAS THE ONLY FEMALE IN HER
HIGH SCHOOL SHOP CLASS.

Rebekah says A LOT OF GIRLS WERE IN HOME
EC.
IF YOU LOOK BACK TO '83 WHEN I
GRAND WAITED, THERE WERE NURSES
AND FLIGHT ATTENDANTS.
THEY WORKED AT A BANK.
SECRETARY TO A MEDICAL OFFICE.
THOSE WERE THE JOBS.
THAT'S WHAT PEOPLE WENT FOR.

The reporter says NOW HER MISSION
IS TO BREAK THAT STIGMA.

Rebekah says THERE ARE SO MANY
OPPORTUNITIES.
ELECTRICIANS ARE CHARGING 85 DOLLARS AN
HOUR MINIMUM.
YOU MIGHT HAVE A UNIVERSITY
DEGREE AND NEVER MAKE THAT KIND
OF MONEY.

Mercedes says FOR SOME, THE UNIVERSITY THING
TOTALLY WORKS.
THEY CAN JUST GO, LEARN THOSE
FOUR YEARS AND THEY GO ON TO
THEIR MASTER'S.
THEY'RE DRAWN TO THAT METHOD OF
LEARNING.
BUT FOR SOME PEOPLE, IT'S JUST
NOT REALISTIC.

The reporter says THE HOPE IS THIS
TYPE OF LEARNING ENVIRONMENT CAN
HELP CHANGE THE FACE OF AN
INDUSTRY.
WOMEN WILL BE NEEDED TO HELP
FILL THE LARGE GAP LEFT BEHIND
BY AGING BABY BOOMERS.
THERE WILL BE AN OPPORTUNITY TO
BUILD A FOUNDATION IN THE FIELD.
IT COULDN'T COME AT A BETTER
TIME.

Rebekah says I'M VERY PROUD OF THEM.
WHEN THEY CAME IN, THEIR HANDS
WERE TREMBLING BUT THEY APPLIED
THEMSELVES.
THE FIRST THING IS STEPPING TO
THE PLATE.

Curtis says AT THE AGE OF SAY TEN OR SO,
ACTUALLY I MADE MY FIRST LITTLE
GO-CART, YOU KNOW?
AND ONCE I MADE THAT, ACTUALLY,
I WAS SO EXCITED, YOU KNOW.
I SAID TO MYSELF, IF I CAN DO
THIS, I CAN, YOU KNOW, GO
FURTHER.
BUT NOW I'M IN THIS, I'M JUST --
YOU KNOW, I'M EVEN MORE EXCITED.
THAT LITTLE BOY IS STILL THERE.
IT'S STILL THERE.

Elizabeth says IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO DO
STUFF.
IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO HAVE YOUR
DREAMS.
IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO DO WHAT
MAKES YOU HAPPY.

A caption reads “Agenda producer: Patricia Kozicka. Editor: David Erwin.”


Watch: Free trades training in Hamilton