Lora, Englishman River Trail Project

How Picking Up a Chainsaw Changed One Woman’s Career Path

For Lora, picking up a chainsaw to participate in a Job Creation Partnership project has had a major – and extremely positive – impact on her career.

Launched in October 2012, the Englishman River project invited participants to develop skills and gain work experience in carpentry, trail building, landscaping, blueprint reading and bridge construction. With her mostly mechanical background, Lora was eager to add these skills to her repertoire.

This Community Fisheries Development Centre project – a partnership with the Regional District of Nanaimo – involved constructing a new trail, culvert, causeway and footbridge along the Englishman River. The on-the-job training was extensive. As they learned various trail-building methods, Lora and her co-workers also studied tool maintenance and repair, trained in ATV use and took courses in first aid and – Lora’s favourite – chainsaw operation.

For Lora, learning to use a chainsaw was an eye-opener. “I had never felt so confident with a tool before,” she says. Prior to participating in the project, Lora envisioned a career in the environmental field. Today, she has a new appreciation for hands-on work and is networking with Richard, the chainsaw instructor, to explore opportunities in that labour market.

“I’ve taken all of my previous knowledge and all of my new knowledge and put them together into practical use,” she says.

Through the Job Creation Partnership, all four participants developed an unmistakable enthusiasm and pride in their work. And they gained an excitement for how their newfound skills, certification and confidence will help in their future career success.

WorkBC's Job Creation Partnerships provide funding to organizations to assist with local projects that provide work experience and skill enhancement opportunities to help eligible job seekers obtain long-term employment.