Selkirk College Asks: Are You Made for Trades?

High School Students from Around Region Invited to Silver King Campus


Selkirk College Welding Program instructor Bruce Davis’s passion for his trade is obvious when he starts talking about his early days as a student at Nelson’s Silver King Campus.

“I always strive to be better,” the 34-year-old says. “The second I laid my first [welding] bead, I thought ‘that’s not very good, I want to make it better.’ When you take pride in what you do, it helps make the entire process a lot more enjoyable.”

Made for Trades 2015

Selkirk College will open its doors to future students at the November 27 Made For Trades day at Nelson’s Silver King Campus. In the Welding Program shop, current students will be helping run the high school participants through hands-on exercises. Taking part in the introduction will be (L-R) student Sebastian Sullivan, student Jorrin McIver, Welding Program instructor Bruce Davis and student Sara Sohm.

After graduating from Stanley Humphries Secondary in Castlegar, moved from job to job across Canada for five years and then moved to Kelowna where he worked as a saw operator. When a friend told him about his work as a welder and the kind of money he was earning, Davis started saving for a return to school. In 2003, he returned home and took the Welding Foundation Program at Selkirk College.

“Other than the money, the first thing I realized is that this is enjoyable way to make a living,” says Davis. “It’s fun and interesting, you are not sitting behind a desk. You are building something with your hands and that’s very fulfilling.”

After completing the program at the Silver King Campus, Davis moved to the Edmonton area. While working an entry-level position at Enerflex, his talents were recognized and the energy industry supplier paid to have him complete his Red Seal journeyperson ticket at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). After working for Enerflex for five years, Davis once again returned to his roots in the West Kootenay.

Last January, Davis was hired by Selkirk College to teach in the shops where he first made sparks fly.

“I always loved the schooling aspect of it,” he says. “When I was working at Enerflex, they would have me help train the new welders which I found quite enjoyable. Getting to teach people how to weld is an amazing job.”

Twice a year, Selkirk College introduces high school students to the various trades’ pathways through Made For Trades. On Friday, November 27 students from high schools across the West Kootenay-Boundary will descend on the Silver King Campus to take a closer look at Welding, Metal Fabrication, Heavy Mechanics, Millwright/Machinist, Fine Woodworking, Carpentry, Electrical, Hairdressing and Esthetics.

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