Workforce Profiles look at the people behind Workforce WindsorEssex’s 120+ In-Demand Jobs. Each week, we talk to a different professional for an inside look into their work.

This month we held a press conference at LiUNA!625 announcing our latest set of Skilled Trades Projects, and were fortunate enough to interview a few Skilled Trades Trainees while we visited.

More about Liuna625:
“LiUNA!625 Members are a powerhouse in the construction industry, building communities, literally, from the ground up. We are well-trained, highly skilled Construction Craft Workers providing a comprehensive range of services to our signatory contractors representing almost every sector of the industry. LiUNA!625 builds better communities, better jobs, better careers, better security.”

You can read info all about Construction Trades Helpers and Labourers through our detailed Career Profiles.

We spoke with Bryon Watterworth, a Construction Craft Worker who is currently in training at LiUNA!625, and works at Aecon. We asked him about his experience in a career as Construction Craft Worker so far, and about his training:

What is it that you do, and what got you started in the field?

I work for Aecon, doing utilities, rebuilding manholes. Here at LiUNA we’re learning in the Construction Craft Workers program. I started from scratch 3 years ago. I used to work in management at a restaurant. Nothing wrong with restaurant industry, but I have kids and I wanted to be home at nights and on weekends. Here I have job security- and I have a pension when I’m done.
Aecon is a great company to work for. I’m older, and it’s a lot easier for me to stay with one company because I’ve got a family to think about. Coming from the restaurant, I had to worry about 20 other staff, and now I work with the same 3 guys every day, and we have that comradery, and we work great together. Time goes by pretty quick when you’re working hard.
When we had our pre-apprenticeship here for the Construction Craft Workers program at LiUNA. That’s when they sent me to Aecon for my apprenticeship, and Aecon kept me the whole way through these last three years.

What does an average day look like for you?

At Aecon we have a 7am “toolbox talk” where we talk about the plan for the day, the hazards, etc. Then we’ll gather what we need for the day, and head out to the job site. Everything at Aecon is about safety. We set up our traffic plans because we’re working on the roads, and we’ll go from there.
A lot of the manholes in Windsor are older, so we start by cutting out the old manhole, that’s made of brick, out of the road, or sidewalk. We do a lot of work for Bell Canada, and all of their stuff is underground. We pour a whole new ring of concrete, and set a new manhole in, and then the City of Windsor (or wherever we are) will come and finish off the road.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging part for me was learning a whole new trade at 40, and discovering brand new muscles I didn’t even know I had.

What advice do you have for someone just starting out on a new path?

I’d say try it out. I know a lot of other people who went to school for different things, and they are still looking for work. But I come here, and I’m learning, and I’m also working at Aecon. There’s always work in the trades.
LiUNA helps us find something, and sets us up for work. Once we’re done here, we’re free to explore other things. In this field we have great benefits, awesome pension, and there’s money to be made in this industry.

Why do you like the LiUNA training program?

I like LiUNA because they treat everybody equally. Someone who’s worked in the industry for 10 years, and someone who’s brand new and never done anything like this before- they treat us all the same. We all get the basic training, and learn their way of doing things, they want us all to succeed. They are very patient.

Thank you for your time Bryon!

Please note: opinions and statements in the blog post are the opinions and statements of the interviewees.

You can learn even more about Construction Craft Workers through our detailed Career Profiles.

Do you work in a skilled trades position? Are you willing to be interviewed for a Workforce Profile?
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Are you a female working in the trades or hoping to? Looking for some advice from Women in the trade, or looking to mentor young girls? Join our Facebook Group: Windsor-Essex Women in Skilled Trades to get tips for the trades, advice, and answers to all the questions you’ve always wanted to ask!