November 7, 2023 (Lillooet, BC) – Evan is a young, motivated and hardworking Indigenous carpenter apprentice from Lillooet (as well as a Coast Capital Road to Red Seal participant) with several years of trade-related experience under his belt. He has the ambitions to complete a carpentry apprenticeship and achieve his Red Seal endorsement, motivated by a passion to learn new skills and a love and commitment to raising and supporting his family.
With family commitments top-of-mind, Evan enrolled in the Carpentry Level 2 program in the Lytton First Nation community when the opportunity arose. Balancing his work schedule, a newborn and an hour commute to class each morning, he successfully completed his schooling with top grades in the class.
“I encourage people to pick a trade and not wait around, start it as soon as they can and get some schooling in—at least Level 1,” said Evan.
Excited and enthusiastic following his Level 2 success, Evan was more determined than ever to continue his apprenticeship. Moving forward, completing his Level 2 prior to Level 1, the most logical route for him was to challenge the Level 1 Standard Level Exam (SLE) and pursue Levels 3 and 4 of technical training when the time was appropriate. Through the Road to Red Seal program, he connected with learning catalyst Dave Lovisa.
“With the direction of CFBC and the support of our partners, we provided Certified Trades Training in Lytton First Nations,” explained Lovisa. “The Level 1 carpenter program was offered in the summer of 2022, and Level 2 in the winter of 2023. This was a great opportunity for Evan to remain at home with family instead of travelling away to attend one of the community trades colleges for seven weeks. I have been working with Evan for months as a tutor and learning catalyst, helping him prepare to challenge the SLE. He is focused and determined, a real pleasure to work with.”
In the Spring of 2023, Coast Capital made a one-million-dollar investment towards supporting skilled trades apprentices on their pathway to Trade Qualification and Red Seal Endorsement. With this investment, the Coast Capital Road to Read Seal initiative is making stories like Evan’s a reality. The Road to Red Seal team provides support to apprentices working through their technical training and exams by providing the tools necessary to achieve success. These tools help identify individual learning styles and gaps by building on strengths, using self-assessments and a one-on-one personal approach with participants.
“It’s been good working with Dave and everyone, added Evan. “They have a lot of resources…they seem dedicated to every participant, and they answer the phone at all hours of day. It helps with Dave that he’s a Red Seal carpenter as well. For someone new, it’s nice to be able to able to learn from someone who has that experience.”
With support from Lovisa and the Road to Red Seal program, Evan prepared to challenge the Level 1 Carpentry SLE while working full time, raising a family, being on high evacuation alert due to this past summer’s BC wildfires, as well as taking care of a family member that had become ill. Despite these challenges, he found the time to study and develop new learning strategies.
Evan wrote the Level 1 Carpentry SLE exam on Sept. 27th, entering with confidence and successfully passing the exam. He was hired by an Indigenous company as a skilled labourer and is now in the process of transferring to a full-time carpenter apprentice with hopes to attend Level 3 of his schooling as soon as possible.
“The highlight is always seeing an apprentice put the effort in and not quit when things get tough,” added Lovisa. “The ultimate is when they succeed. Passing the final is important and honourable, but there is more to it than that. Success is about working hard, building confidence, learning new skills and improving their lives and the lives of their loved ones.”
For more information on the work being done by CFBC and to donate, please visit constructionfoundation.ca.
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At Coast Capital, we’re not dreaming about a better future, we’re building one. We’re a member-owned financial cooperative with an 80-year legacy of unlocking financial opportunities that positively impact people and communities. We believe that every Canadian deserves a financial partner who actually cares how things turn out. Driven by our social purpose, we look at everything we do through the lens of how we can help our 600,000 members, our employees and communities. Ranked in the platinum category of the 2022 Corporate Knight’s Social Purpose Ranking and a proud Certified B Corporation®, we’re part of a global movement building a more inclusive, equitable and regenerative economic system. Each year, we invest 10% of our bottom line into our communities, which over the past two decades totals almost $90M. We’re deeply committed to making our financial cooperative a great place to work as demonstrated by some of our accolades. Coast Capital is a platinum member of Canada’s Best Managed Companies, one of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures, and a BC Top Employer. To learn more, visit us online at coastcapitalsavings.com.