The KickAss Mission
To teach the young hands of today to build the world of tomorrow through apprenticeship, technical programs and the armed forces.
About Kickass Careers
KickAss Careers is an organization of authentic tradespeople who hope to inspire others like they once were. At KickAss Careers we believe it is important to teach them young, however we hope to educated, encourage, and engage the old and young about the skilled trades through our stories and experiences. Founded by trailblazers Jamie McMillian - Ironworker/Boilermaker and Pat Williams - Engineer in 2015, this organization has grown to include a group of Ambassadors from a variety of trades.
My KickAss Journey
I first became aware of KickAss Careers through the pre-apprenticeship program facilitated by the YWCA Hamilton. The YWCA arranged for speaker Jamie McMillian to come and talk to our group. This program was aimed to get women in the field as we represent a very small percentage in the skilled trades. Jamie was the first woman I had to meet who was a real authentic tradeswoman, and she gave me the motivation and inspiration I needed to keep persevering.
A year would pass before our paths would cross again. On the night before my first shift with the IBEW, I had found out someone close to me had passed away unexpectedly. With this news, I was unable to start the next day safely and required knowledge, experience, and support. I desperately reached out to Jamie, and extremely grateful she wrote me back that night,. Jamie instantly became the support I never knew I had, and I now consider her a sister, friend and mentor.
Many more months would pass, until I was asked to be featured for an article in the Hamilton Spec for YWCA Women of Distinction Week. Included in the article was Jamie McMillian highlighting her amazing work advocating for the skilled trades. We attended the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards Ceremony together and it was then that conversations started about me becoming an Ambassador.
I immediately knew that being an Ambassador was something I wanted to do. Being a Child and youth worker used to mean I got to educate, mentor and watch youth and children grow and learn. This was an unpaid reward and one that left me feeling good because I felt I was making a difference in the world. Being a KickAss Ambassador allows me to get the best of both worlds and combine my two worlds, CYW and Electrical Apprentice.
Ambassador in Action
* Skills ONtario - 2020/2021
Skills Ontario has made a Virtual Career Exploration Workshop to be used throughout Ontario. It is because of KickAss Careers that I had the opportunity to share this little video demonstration to be used at these events. I am excited to be a panelist in 2021 and hopeful to inspire a few to give the skilled trades a try.
* Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program - 2020/2021
KickAss Careers works closely with OYAP to teach the youth of today about the skilled trades through presentations. This 2020 school year has forces many to find new ways to reach each other. As an Ambassador for KickAss Careers and an advocate of the skilled trades we make videos to be used during virtual presentation. Thank you OYAP for allowing me to reach so many young people to tell me story.
* Olivia and HCDSB - Dec 2020
During the fall of 2020 I had the opportunity and privilege to work with Olivia from the Hamilton Catholic District School Board. Olivia was tasked to put together an engaging career fair targeting the skilled trades to be shared with the students. I'm so grateful we were able to connect, and so impressed with her creativity and what she was able to create!
Although I'm not able to share with you the full interactive experience. I am able to share a few screenshots of her vision and creation. I am also happy to see fellow KickAss Careers Ambassador Courtney Chard got involved too!
At KickAss Careers we believe it's so important to teach them young, and it's programs like these that allow us to reach young people! Thank you HCDSB and Olivia for this opportunity! And thank you for the wicked shirt! Just an example of this amazing woman's creativity! I love it!
* YWCA Skill-building workshop - June 2020
It was such an honour to be the guest speaker at YWCA Hamilton Skill-building workshop for their upcoming Pre-Apprenticeship programs. It was this program that helped change my life two years ago, and I hope to inspire and encourage some amazing women to know they can do the same!
I will forever be grateful to the YWCA Hamilton and their amazing Pre-Apprenticeship programs. The opportunity given to me by the YWCA, and the dedication of the program Co-Ordinator and Mohawk College Teachers has changed my life and helped me find a passion I never really knew I had. Thank You! Check out the flyers below and refer any women interested to the YWCA Hamilton.
* Skilled trades career fair - March 2020
Thank you VPI, OYAP and St. Charles Adult Learning Center for hosting a job fair focusing on the skilled trades. It was great to see so many different Unions and organizations coming together to encourage and educate youth on the different pathways available.
Also thank you Pat Piro from OYAP Hamilton for having me out to represent KickAss Careers as their newest ambassador. I am proud to say I love my job as an Electrical Apprentice, and grateful for the support of my brothers and sisters in the trades and my IBEW Local 105. I had a great day discussing my passion for the trades and educating youth on the amazing opportunities OYAP has to offer.
* OYAP, Cathedral High School - March 2020
March 2020 I visit Cathedral Catholic High School and spoke with 4 classes about how and why I got into the skilled trades. It is amazing to be able to educate youth and hopefully inspire a few too! Thank you Pat Piro from OYAP for having me as a guest.