A helping hand on the path to a new career

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Finding herself out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic could have been devastating for Samantha (Sammy) Moortgat. Instead, it turned into an opportunity of a lifetime – with a little help along the way.

As someone who loves working with her hands, Sammy was excited to hear College of the Rockies was holding a Women in Trades trades sampler program. The trades sampler provides the opportunity for individuals who identify as female to experience six different trades (carpenter, electrician, automotive technician, welder, industrial mechanic, and piping) over 12 weeks. Sammy was so eager to participate, she was first potential student to apply!

“I love the trades as you’re always busy and have something to do,” she said. “It’s never boring and you continually learn new things. Every day working in the trades is a new day where you get to do different things.”

Since she was not working, covering some program-related expenses would have been challenging for Sammy. Thankfully, TC Energy was committed to improving access to education through their Build Strong program. They provided a donation to the College that provided bursaries for some Trades Sampler participants, including Sammy.

“I really appreciated that I was eligible for the bursary,” Sammy said. “It helped me pay for work pants, a laptop, and gas to get to and from the program every day. It was a really awesome help.”

With these expenses taken care of, Sammy was able to really focus on what she was learning.

“I loved every part of the program and enjoyed all of the trades,” she said. “I’m definitely considering furthering my trades training. I’m particularly interested in Carpentry and Automotive and have applied for the Carpenter foundations program. I would recommend any women considering a career in the trades take this program; you get a couple of weeks experience in each trade which helps you narrow down which one is best for you.”

As she looks forward to the next step of her educational journey, Sammy is grateful for the opportunity to take the Trades Sampler program, and to the donor that helped her along the way.

“I am so happy that College of the Rockies making this program available for all of us,” she said. “And thank you so much TC Energy for making this bursary possible. It meant that I could just focus on this program and not have to worry about finding part-time work too.”