“10 years later, I decided to move to Winnipeg in 2017, worked various minimum wage jobs which I did not like, and that’s when I decided to go back to school” says Jacob Chartrand. After having accomplished his Mature Student Diploma in 2019 from the Winnipeg Adult Education Center and training in the Home Builders program from the First People Development Inc. (FPDI) in 2021, today Jacob plans to pursue a career in Carpentry. His future goal is to acquire a Red Seal and be his own Contractor. He is eager to make his dreams a reality – he goes back to school in November this year to kick start on his Level 1 Carpentry.
Jacob comes from the Pine Creek First Nations community. He grew up in Duck Bay for most of his life and moved to Dauphin, Manitoba at the age of fourteen years. Ten years down the line, the need for better job opportunities bought him to Winnipeg in 2017.
The path to success is never linear and so it was for Jacob. After much struggle working various minimum wage jobs, Jacob decided to go back to school and complete his Mature Student Diploma from the Winnipeg Adult Education Center in 2019 which widely opened up opportunities for him. “The Mature Student Diploma opened numerous doors for my education”, says Jacob.
In 2020, with the outbreak of Covid-19 Jacob had to move back to Pine Creek. This however did not stop him from doing what he needed to. He started working with the Pine Creek Band Office in the Skills Link program when an interesting opportunity came his way – It was a funded project offered by FPDI in Home Building being offered at Pine Creek for which he got interviewed and selected.
As his career was about to take off, there was no looking back for Jacob. “I learned how to use power tools, read a measuring tape, how to frame a house and how to read blueprints,” says Chartrand. “We had excellent instructors who equipped us with the knowledge and resources we needed. I really enjoyed the program because it was all hands on and the environment was extremely friendly.” It was a turning point for Jacob as the project cleared off the cobwebs and he knew exactly what he wanted to do for his career. Chartrand credits his colleagues in helping him overcome his challenges during the project through their immense support.
Jacob is grateful for the valuable hands-on experience and a career direction that he gained with support from FPDI and his community in the Pine Creek in collaboration with the Manitoba Building Trades. He resumes school coming November 2021 in pursuit of his Level 1 Carpentry. “I am continuing my education. In November I will be returning to school to get my Level 1 Carpentry at the Prairie Arctic Trades Training Centre, Winnipeg. My long-term goal is to obtain the Red Seal certificate and become my own contractor.”
Jacob thanks his wife, Shylah and regards her as his biggest support system all throughout his journey. “If it wasn’t her motivating me to go every day and participate in every activity, I wouldn’t have completed the project; huge thanks to her.”