At Tools to Empower, our mission is to build brighter futures through skills, compassion, and community. We inspire under-represented youth and individuals through Trades and STEM-related education, fostering community inclusivity, and advocating for sustainability in trades, STEM, and the environment. Our active programs, which include community initiatives, interactive workshops, and agriculture programs , not only cater to immediate needs but also pave the way for future success. We're committed to creating opportunities and nurturing lifelong skills, ensuring that everyone has access to a good quality of life and the tools they need to thrive.
Laura is a Red Seal Welder and Fabricator currently pursuing a new trade apprenticing as a heavy duty mechanic.
She obtained her Red Seal for Welding in 2014 after working in a supportive, do-all shop, where she developed foundational, well-rounded hand skills. Throughout her welding career, Laura has taken on every unique opportunity she could and has been involved in various architectural projects, the building of popular craft breweries, and working underground in Uranium mines, among other varied industries.
Laura has been a fierce advocate for blue-collar jobs throughout her career as she sees the value of the tangible, transferrable skills that come from creating and working with your hands. Her goal in working with youth is to normalize tool and hand skills as these skills can help build careers and build the confidence to be relentless in the pursuit of creativity.
Natasha is steamfitter with UA Local 170, a level 2 welder and Community Support Worker. She also, sits on the executive board for Build Together BC and is a Regional Trades Representative. Since returning to the trades she has had some interesting job opportunities such as, working on the JSS; which is largest military ship in Canada’s fleet. What she enjoys most about her career is that the jobs are contract base, so after the job is finished you move on to something new and exciting!
She thinks workshops are going to be the start of something big! She is super passionate about helping people break barriers and thinks working with youth is the perfect place to start. Teaching girls how to use tools is very empowering, and whether they continue on with the trades or not, these workshops will show them what they are capable of and they will leave with more confidence, which will be super rewarding.
Kendra is a second year electrical apprentice, her first experience with electrical was in grade 5! She had access to experiment with small battery operated circuits and instantly fell in love! She made it her goal throughout school to achieve her goal, and she did! What she loves most about her job is constantly learning new techniques from various trades, as well as socializing and meeting new people!
She believes these workshops will help spark interest and passion, the same way it did when she was young. Hopefully creating a domino effect of youth sharing their experiences that participated at a workshop, and creating interest from parents and kids throughout the community to also participate, and consider the skilled trades as a viable career option, that is rewarding.
We acknowledge that we live, work, and play on the unceded, traditional lands of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, Sechelt and Squamish Nations of the Coast Salish peoples. We are grateful to the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island who have cared for these lands since time immemorial.
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