Grads on our grounds: with Chuck Wynder

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It’s been three decades since Chuck Wynder came to Lethbridge College in the Carpentry Apprenticeship program, and he still remembers some of those first lessons. As a transfer student in the second year of his four-year program, he spent his first year at the college focused on framing. “Third year was concrete and fourth year was finishing,” says Wynder, who graduated in 1988. “Anything you do in carpentry goes back to your time at the college. Yeah, you learn new skills on the job, but it doesn’t matter what aspects of the trades you are doing, it all goes back to those basics.”

Wynder works as a lead hand for Stuart Olson, the construction manager for the college’s new trades and technologies facility, and his work in late February was with concrete. “Right now, I’m doing shear walls,” he explains. “They prevent lateral movement between the two levels. Walls have a tendency to wobble and waver in the wind, so we put up shear walls for lateral strength.”

The work is satisfying for several reasons. First, there’s the size of the project. “This is what I do best,” he says. “I like the big jobs. I like the action, the cranes, the equipment… everything is big.” He also is pleased that the work he is doing will be seen once his part is finished.

“Normally concrete work is buried underground or behind walls. But a lot of the concrete here is architectural – it’s exposed,” he says. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s all going to look nice by the time it’s done.”

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