Grads on our grounds: with Jessica Murray

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Jessica Murray is a passionate advocate for the trades. “I think that the trades offer incredible opportunities for people,” says the 2013 graduate of the college’s Upgrading program who now works as a first-year plumber for KB Heating and Air Conditioning. “I absolutely love how hands-on my job is. It provides a challenge every day. I get to learn how to troubleshoot and problem solve. I get to work a lot with my hands as well as my head. It’s just a perfect combination for me.”

Murray, who has been accepted into the college’s Plumbing apprenticeship program starting this fall, spends her days working on pipes in the welding shop for the welding gases or running pipes for water supplies and heating and cooling units within the college’s new trades and technologies facility, which is set to open this fall. “I find it absolutely incredible to be a part of this project,” says Murray. “This is going to be a great resource for so many people for years to come, including myself. I’m loving being a part of a project that allows my city, as well as my province, to grow.”

As a woman working in the trades, Murray says she makes a deliberate effort to support and build up other women working in what are still largely male-dominated fields. She says there have been days when she has been told women don’t belong in the trades, and “days where I’ve felt so beat down. I am super lucky to have many other supportive co-workers, friends and family who really help me to see that I can do this – and I can do it well. I take all of those negative comments and use them to fuel myself to move forward and to be the best that I can be.”

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