“I love my life,” said Greg Otte, 42. “I work extremely hard every day and get paid very well to do it. It’s hard work, but I love it.” Otte was able to do something that he had wanted to do since high school – work in skilled trades.
In February 2012, Otte graduated from The Centre for Skills Development & Training’s Electrical Program in Burlington, Ont. and is now a fourth year apprentice at OZZ Electric Inc. in Concord. He could not be happier about his current career.
Prior to coming to The Centre, Otte worked full-time for his father’s tool and die business. He said his decision to come to The Centre was due to a family friend who went into the same program and recommended it.
“He had nothing but positive things to say about it. At the time, I was looking for an apprenticeship on my own, but no one was hiring people in their late 30s with no experience. He said the material and instructors were great, so I decided to enroll.”
Otte said the superior teaching skills of the instructors were what he found most interesting, describing how they used their years of industry experience to pass on quality information. Each student was taught based on how they best learned. In addition, The Centre also assisted with his job search by connecting him with potential employers and setting up interviews.
Apart from his training, Otte recalled how The Centre’s staff helped him through a very difficult time.
“My father passed away in the middle of the program. The assistance I got afterwards from all the personnel at The Centre was amazing. Everyone was there to make sure I got through it. It was hard switching gears to a new career in the first place, but I worked really hard and got where I wanted with their help.”
Otte credits his training at The Centre with helping him at his job. Not only did he get granted 500 hours towards his apprenticeship, but the skills he learned have allowed him to grow and improve on how he conducts his work. “I’m a lot more confident. Since they teach you the basics, it’s easy to take the skills from job site to job site. I enjoy meeting new people, trying new ways of doing things and the challenges of new jobs. I’m always learning and so will everyone who takes that program.”
Visit thecentre.on.ca/skilledtrades for more information about skilled trades training programs at The Centre.