“I decided, what if I just flip everything on its head and go do something completely different.”
Marcy Smith is a courageous, powerful force who makes what most people find intimidating and scary seem effortless and exciting. She worked in an office as a software developer on several different projects for almost 30 years. Alongside her work, Marcy was developing her passion for the world as well as exploring solutions for our crisis in climate change; “I took a solar installation course while I was still in software, and I really enjoyed it. Doing anything that allows me to install solar is more of what I am interested in doing. The solar class that I had taken to start was very specific; you had to be an electrician to install solar panels. So, I thought, let’s do a career shift. Something completely different.” What most would find unnerving, Marcy embraced. At the flip of a switch, she traded in her well-worn keyboard for a brand-new set of tools; her journey into the trades had just begun.
“The timing was crazy insane.”
Marcy began investigating electrical apprenticeship programs and became discouraged by their long waitlists, some as long as two years. She contacted a friend who referred her to the Electrical Joint Training Committee (EJTC) web page. She discovered that she could start her apprenticeship within a short month, “Sign me up!”.
“I went from office work to construction.”
Marcy is now at the end of her first year as an electrical apprentice at the EJTC. She appreciates the opportunity to move; “as it turns out, I like the physical part of it. I have more muscle mass than what I started with!”. Marcy is also grateful for the job’s versatility, “every day is different, so I don’t get bored!”. Recently, Marcy was assigned to work with Western Pacific Enterprises (WPE) in Vancouver’s downtown. Being exposed to plenty of new tasks, Marcy tackles them head on and with enthusiasm. “I ended up working with Western Pacific Downtown. I’ve gotten a little bit of everything. I’ve done a bit of data, I’ve done a little bit on an electrical panel, wire-pulling, conduit bending, installations of lights, installations of receptacles. The only thing I haven’t done is slab work, and I’m okay with that.” Although Marcy manages her challenges with such finesse, there is one job in particular that remains to be mastered; “One of the biggest challenges is trying to move around a twelve-foot ladder when you’re working in a T-bar ceiling. Trying to move these ladders that go about three feet above the T-bar… that’s challenging!”
“My drive is about the climate crisis, and that’s why I’m interested in solar.”
Marcy Smith is an inspiring woman with a passion for renewable energy. She works hard in her apprenticeship program with the EJTC while looking forward to her end goal; working with solar panels. In the meantime, Marcy is smoothly transitioning into this sudden career change. She brings her passion and drive to the workplace and makes sure to absorb every drop of knowledge provided. Marcy is ready and eager to embrace the future of renewable energy.
Written by: Savannah Davis, ClearWater Communications Co.