IBEW 993 Women Part of the BC Building Trades Build Together Working on the Royal Inland Hospital

Posted on December 2, 2020 3:56 pm

IBEW 993 has always strived to ensure everyone has the right to choose a career to follow their dreams without restriction. This can be seen on one of our current projects like the Royal Inland Patient Tower where Houle Electric is working on a 200,000+ Electrical Hour Project. The project will require over 100 electricians at peak.

Office, retail, clinical, surgical, mental health, labour/delivery areas, a Rooftop Helipad, and Emergency Generators on the 9th floor are just some of the components of this project.

Currently, Houle has 76 electricians on-site and looking to crew up to over 100 electricians at peak. Our local First Nations are represented by 17% of the current workers on site.

ESC Automation is currently working on the Patient Tower HVAC This contract covers the mounting variable air volume controllers, Mounting supply air temperature duct sensors, Bending and Installing 3/4" conduit for temperature sensors, MSTP network, and low voltage power to feed all of the VAV controllers and various sensors on a floor.

IBEW LU 993 is very proud to see the number of women in the trade increasing on job sites. When these women expressed interest in working in the trade, they were met with a system designed to encourage and mentor them to achieve their goals and dreams. Out of the 76 electricians and apprentices on-site, 17% are women of the trades. I have asked some of the women to tell their stories of how they started in the trade.

Some of our IBEW 993 Build Together Women Safety first Build together neck gaters, Tshirts and new IBEW 993 safe vests: Cassandra Adolf, Jessica Kocher, Alison Klie, Krystin Nowicki, Inez Hegelstad, Coral Hadley, Alyson Taylor, and Chandra Basil-Dugas

Meet Rachel Gaudet

Rachel is working for ESC Automation at the Royal Inland Patient Tower Project

I first became interested in the trades after a period of time where I was jumping from one job to another, looking for a permanent career. I met a woman who told me about the benefits of being in a union and suggested I consider pursuing a job as an electrician. I was intrigued and thought I’d look into it and sent my resume to her later that day. The journey I’ve been on since then to become an electrician has changed my life and taught me so much. So far I’m a first year apprentice and it’s one of the best decisions I've made for myself. I’m very proud and excited about what I’ve learned and the experience of taking this path. I look forward to seeing where this will take me in the future.

Meet Chandra Basil Dugas

Chandra is working for Houle at the Royal Inland Patient Tower Project

I started out in electrical by chance because I was in my Bachelor of Science but after a year and a half of school, I felt it wasn’t the right fit so I decided to give trades a try. I started my pre-app program for electrical in 2012 and never looked back. I instantly fell in love with the challenge of hands-on work, problem-solving on the job, and contributing to society in a way that I could build from the ground up. I have been a Red Seal Journeyman for three years. This trade is something I love to do on a daily basis and am so happy my life led me into it. I have recently noticed how many women are choosing electrical and that makes me very excited for the future of the trade. Maybe one-day women can outnumber men!

Meet Alison Klie

Alison is working for Houle at the Royal Inland Patient Tower Project

I got my start as an electrician by accident. I was in high school and was looking for a way to start a career without going to college. I went to speak to my school counselor to ask about an esthetician program, but she misheard me and gave me the forms for the electrician trade entry program. I took a week to think about it and figured “why not?” I enjoyed physical labour and helping with renovations on my parents’ house. I could be an electrician. I decided to take a chance on something completely different from what most of my classmates were doing and I am glad I did. I worked hard to complete my mandatory courses before attending TRU for six months during my grade twelve years I fell in love with the trade during that time and knew this was what I wanted to do and I was excited to see where it could lead. I graduated with honours and began a career that has been fulfilling and rewarding. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Being an electrician has led me to so many other opportunities such as running for city council, meeting the premier, traveling to conferences, and giving back to my community. It has given me a solid foundation on which to build the rest of my life.

Meet Jessica Kocher

Jessica is working for Houle at the Royal Inland Patient Tower Project

“My name is Jessica Kocher, I’m a second-year apprentice. I’ve always worked in shops of some sort my whole life, from tire shops to part shops to wood working shops. I knew I wanted to go to school for something, just wasn’t exactly sure for what. I talked to a lot of people and everyone said I would do well in the electrical field. So I kinda just jumped headfirst and went to school and we’ll the rest is history.”

Meet Alyson Taylor

Alyson is working for Houle at the Royal Inland Patient Tower Project

I got into electrical because I wanted a job that keeps me thinking and active. I enjoy how every day is different when you come to work it keeps the mind stimulated. My favorite part of the end of the day being able to look around and see what you have accomplished for that day. For me I feel like I've lived every day to its fullest instead of just living for the weekend.

Meet Krystin Nowicki

Krystin is working for Houle at the Royal Inland Patient Tower Project

I have always wanted to have a job where I work with my hands, use my brain, and make a great wage to support my family. Trades was an idea that was constantly brought up to me by friends and family members, as most of them are tradespeople themselves. Once I found out about the Women in Trades program at TRU, I knew I was on the right path to my future, finally!
I quit my go nowhere job and pursued the WITT program for the next 3 months. We had the opportunity to try out multiple trades and ended up with 12 different tickets to help us get our careers going. I could tell right away that the trades were going to be a challenging yet very rewarding career opportunity for me, putting me on this amazing path to becoming an electrician.

Meet Inez Hegelstad

I started in electrical because during my last year of high school I got to take the youth train in trades program. This allowed me to get an early start on my career. I have always loved doing physical work while problem solving using math and sciences. So far I have finished my first year and am enjoying my work. I am excited to continue on this path.