Iryne was on employment insurance and looking for financial independence. A new career has helped provide all that and more.

Meet Iryne

Iryne was on employment insurance in 2019 after working as an Inventory/Purchasing Manager for over 10 years. She spent many hours wondering what next. She wanted a career she could be proud of, and the financial security she’d always dreamed of.  

During her job search, she came across the Journeywoman Start (JWS) program with WBF. After a while, she asked her sons if she should apply. One said, “Look into it mom! See if you can do it.” The other said, “Mom, you’re not young anymore and the trades are physically demanding.” Iryne replied, “Even though there is truth to that, I think it’s more about mind over matter. Why not try?”  

Iryne became a JWS student later that year. Going back to school at this point in her life was hard, but she was dedicated and focused on doing her best. She graduated from the program during the first wave of COVID-19, when opportunities were limited. She was able to get a job on a large construction site through another student’s recommendation. Being on site gave her the opportunity to network with people from other organizations and get her name out there. After a few months, she was approached by a Superintendent, who asked about her training with WBF and if she was interested in becoming a Pipefitter Apprentice.  

“My experience working on oil and gas pipelines as a Pipefitter Apprentice has been excellent. I’m working towards my goal of getting my Journeyman certificate. My work can be physically demanding, but I am determined to keep going. I hope my story encourages people to believe in themselves. It’s never too late. It doesn’t matter what age, race, or gender you are. If you put your mind to it and follow through, anything is possible.”