I was at a job fair in 2015, where I heard about the programs run through the Valiant Training & Development Centre. They would interview you and if you got approved for the program you were placed with a company that would pay for your training. I think that program no longer runs, but I got paid to train at the center for the first month or so in 2015. (Note: The Valiant Training & Development Centre became the St. Clair College Skilled Trades Regional Training Centre in 2017.) They were training us in general trade knowledge: mostly we ran bridgeports, then moved up to a small boring mill and CNC. The training wasn’t directly mold making related, but I got placed with a mold making company and worked on the floor for nine months.
The company would ask apprentices if they wanted to try out other departments during downtime. In 2015, someone asked if I wanted to try design, so I was interviewed by the engineering manager to be moved up and it worked out. The rest is history.
I didn’t mind mold making, but with design I feel like I get to think more, especially when I work on patterns and creative solutions to problems. There’s thinking and problem-solving in mold making as well, but if you make a mistake, it’s in steel, so you can’t easily go back and correct it. In design if there’s a problem, I can erase it and redraw it. There’s a little more freedom.
In 2022, I came to work for Circle 5 because a guy I worked with at my old shop referred me to them. I enjoy that I get to work on more challenging tools here at Circle 5. The design department also isn’t split into surfacers and designers, so I get to learn the full tool build. I get a lot more experience working with more complex tools and I can pick my coworkers’ brains.
– L.S.K. Designer
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