Neil Normandeau is a highly versatile man with many incredible skills and talents. His story does not start in the electrical trade; Neil’s story begins in aviation. Neil spent many years learning the aviation trade. He worked as an instructor pilot for a year and a half until reality set in. There wasn’t any movement, nor were there a lot of jobs in the aviation field at that time. He knew he had to recover. “To be able to do my schooling while working is what drew me to the electrical trade. The recovery was to get into a trade, and that decision led me to where I am today.”

In 2002, Neil started his electrical apprenticeship in Manitoba, and after ten months, he moved to BC to complete his apprenticeship program. He then specialized in automation and controls for the next ten years.

“To be able to teach people the inside knowledge or any particular details of the trades was a natural fit for me.”

After some time, Neil was looking for a change in pace and scenery. He discovered that the Electrical Joint Training Committee (EJTC) was expanding, leading him to a full-time position within the center, satisfying his desire to instruct. “My role is multifaceted. My current role is the curriculum manager. Anything regarding the materials we introduce to our students through any education level must cross my path. Whether it’s from development or the organization of development with outside partners, coordination to deploy instructors and the teaching staff, or coordination with external bodies such as the Industry Training Authority (ITA) or the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB). I try to ensure that it’s all coordinated accordingly and that we meet all the proper regulations.”

These are not the only tasks on Neil’s busy to-do list. He splits his time working with outside organizations. Neil is currently preparing webinars with an organization out of Victoria, one of the EJTC’s EV (electric vehicle) infrastructure programs. Neil also manages small projects or coordinates projects related to the EJTC’s curriculum. His primary focus is not to stagnate the industry. “We want to ensure that we are at the top of the rank to compete with larger education centers.”

“The trades will keep you humble.”

Neil is incredibly grateful for his time in the trades. “The trades have made my career flourish. The values the trades bring to people are camaraderie, working with people from different ethnic backgrounds, people with different skill levels, and different genders. I think it adds value to the environment of the people you work with. I believe the trades prepare you for your personal life and when you work in the trade. You’re working based on budgets and timelines and learning to prioritize all these things while working in an organized manner and a group. You’re not just a single individual doing one task; you’re a team.”

Neil encourages motivation and a good work ethic to ensure success in this industry. “The success of your career will be based on how much you want to involve yourself in it.” If you invest in this career, like Neil, the electrical trade will flourish your personal life AND your career.

Written by: Savannah Davis, ClearWater Communications Co.