Craig Point is a dedicated father currently residing on Six Nations of the Grand River Territory where he works as a full-time Construction Labourer with the Bear Paw Construction Group.
When Craig found out he was having his first child, his primary focus was to secure reliable and stable employment to support his young family. On top of needing a steady job, Point also wanted something that would allow him the flexibility to manage school and lacrosse. At age 16, he secured a job iron working, then shifted to a General Labourer position where he worked primarily on homes, decks, and roofs.
Craig had no intentions of returning to school. However, he frequently found himself not having the credentials needed to work his way up in the construction industry. Over time, he realized the dire need for skilled trade workers in the Six Nations community, which motivated him to further his education.
He received funding from GREAT to complete the Safety Training Program through Ogwehoweh Skills and Trades Training Centre (OSTTC). In this program, he received various certifications, including Working-At-Heights, Forklift, Rough Train Forklift, Elevated Work Platform, Ground Disturbance and Trenching, Scissor Lift, Boom operator, and Global Harmonization System. A peer in the program mentioned that he should advance his career further and pursue his Heavy Equipment Operator and AZ License.
With help from his support system and GREAT, Point enrolled in the 10-week Certified Transportation and Construction Program through KRTS.
With hard work and dedication to his studies, in just 10-weeks, he was able to receive the following certifications:
· KRTS Certificate of Achievement, TTSAO Certificate
· PTDI Certificate
· Smart Driver Certificate
· Heavy Equipment Operator Certificate of Achievement
· Heavy Equipment Operator Wallet Card
· Forklift Certification and Wallet Card
“My goal was to open doors for myself through the Heavy Equipment Operator and AZ Program. It was a huge eye-opener, and it really helped me out. I’ll always be glad that I did it.”
His previous work experience combined with the certificates he received has made him an asset to any employer. It has also allowed him to give back to his community with most of his work experience being on-reserve. He has become the on-call handyman to his peers and enjoys helping his family and friends with projects in his spare time.
“For me, that is who all of this is for, my family. Making sure I’m up every day and healthy. I go to work and stay safe so I can make it home to them at night and bring in a paycheque. I’ll always do what I can for them.”
Defining himself as someone who never wanted an office job, Point has experienced significant levels of job satisfaction and quality of life by pursuing a career in the skilled trades.
“The trades will always keep you busy and active. I’ve never liked sitting at a computer all day. I just knew I had to do it for school. It’s extremely satisfying when you help build a home, and look at it and think to yourself yeah, I did that.”
When asked what advice he has for others, Craig stated,
“The sky is the limit with anything that you decide. The certifications have opened so many doors for me. As soon as I tell employers about the certificates I have and my experience, I get the job. I thank GREAT that they opened those doors for me. I never saw myself driving AZ or working heavy equipment. The program was by far the most beneficial training that I’ve ever received.”