Test driving careers

Sep 8, 2016

Three high school students had the opportunity to test drive potential future careers this summer at Coal and Mining. TransAlta partners with Careers: The Next Generation, and the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP), to employ summer students and expose them to various trades and fields. This summer, Coal and Mining hired three students from Paul First Nation – Isaiah Paul, Delise Beauregard and Kristen Rain-Kootenay.

Careers: The Next Generation

Careers is a non-profit organization whose goal is to bring together industry, schools and communities to guide youth into successful career paths (from careers brochure). The RAP program is an extension of Careers and focuses exclusively on youth who will be pursuing a career in the trades by allowing the student to begin their apprenticeship while attending high school.

Introducing the students

Isaiah Paul completed his second summer at TransAlta through the RAP program and worked with Millwrights at Keephills, learning about mills, scraper rooms, other equipment and machinery and safety. Brian Henkel, supervisor, Ash Systems has overseen Isaiah during his time at Keephills and said, “Isaiah is very personable. He is someone who wants to come to work every morning and learn. He has personal goals and is determined to achieve them.”

Delise Beauregard completed her first summer with TransAlta, working in Administration at Sundance. During her time at TransAlta, Delise has worked with Microsoft Office software, the reception phone system and timesheet entry. Melissa Marsollier, supervisor, Sundance Administration, praised Delise, “She is very fast and independent for her age. She is eager to learn and gets work done very efficiently.”

Kristen Rain-Kootenay returned for her second summer, working alongside electrical and instrumentation employees. This year, she completed various hands-on work with her mentors such as fan repairs, wiring and proper tool use and education. Kristen wants to achieve a dual ticket in electrical and instrumentation. Don Maclellan, supervisor, Electrical, said, “Kristen has become a part of the team, she fits in great with the crew and has learned the basic principles of the trade and how to work well in a team environment. Making the transition from high school to an industrial company such as TransAlta can be a scary experience for young people, but Kristen showed that it is possible to overcome your nerves and thrive.”

Looking to the future

TransAlta recognizes the importance of developing its people, from onboarding all the way to retirement. Partnering with Careers and RAP is a great investment that has proven to be beneficial for both TransAlta and the students who take the initiative to learn. It’s a win-win for everyone; students get a taste of the real world and gain motivation to pursue their educational careers, while TransAlta builds lasting relationships with employees of the future.

Above: (left to right) Arlene Lauer-Krueger of Careers: The Next Generation, Melissa Marsollier, Larry Cooper, Delise Beauregard, Isaiah Paul, Brian Henkel, and Don Maclellan