This week’s ‘Industry Interview’ features tradeswomen Amanda Steiner and Rebekah Ray, who are carving out a name for themselves after getting into the trades while attending Salmon Secondary and participating in a Skills Ready’s Showcase Event in 2017.
The pair entered the trades following high school and have big plans for their future. Amanda’s father operates a local construction company in Salmon Arm, while her cousin Rebekah grew up on a farm. Both factors have contributed to the duo deciding that a career in construction was the right route to take.
“I never really wanted to go to school and be a doctor or something like that,” said Ray. “I always wanted to do something hands on.”
For Amanda, the passion for the work she is doing has grown quickly.
“I definitely didn’t know [what I wanted to do out of high school],” said Steiner. “It was something that the more I did it, the more I fell in love with it, the more I got into the planning aspect of it. Seeing a house come together start to finish, that’s when I really started to actually enjoy it and fully get into it.”
The pair reflected on the Skills Ready Showcase event back in 2017 and the influence it played on their decision to enter the trades. Coordinated by Skills Ready Career Catalyst, Dave Lovisa, Showcase events bring together employers and participants to encourage dialogue around employment and bridge the gap between students interested in the trades and the industry workforce.
“I think for me it was really nice to have that reassurance that somebody was there interested in what we were doing and more than that, interested in the fact we wanted to get into trades,” added Steiner. “It made it more real, it made it seem like it was an actual possibility and there are adults out there actually paying attention to the younger generation. As women, it’s always nice to have that encouragement…it’s a lot easier to believe in yourself.’
Her cousin agrees.
“It was definitely nice, even talking with you [Dave] now, you’re still thinking about it and you’re still wanting to get the younger generation in trades. Definitely growing up before we took that class we didn’t know that [entering the trades as a career] was an option, really.
Rebekah and Emma have just begun to apprentice and plan to eventually take over Amanda’s family business. The pair admits that they still have a lot to learn, but are keen on the options and freedom of working for themselves in the not-so-distant future.
“The more I thought about it, the more I was like ‘that is 100 percent something I want to do,’” concluded Steiner. “I love working for myself. I love working with Becky and I love people.”