Johanna has found a stable career as a carpenter with Greyback Construction, allowing her to accomplish both her life and career goals, all while preparing for her future. Her journey as a tradeswoman began after her curiosity was peaked from viewing a poster advertising trades at her son’s school.
Johanna had experience in a number of sectors within the workforce before she settled into a career in trades. Carpentry hadn’t necessarily been her first choice, but she enjoyed trying new things and working with her hands. She enrolled in Okanagan College’s ‘Gateway to Technology’ program, where her instructor taught her that ‘wood was good’.
From there, Johanna embarked on her apprenticeship journey in carpentry, and is now embracing her role as a tradesperson while leading the way for future tradeswomen and tradesmen alike.
“My journey has been awesome,” said Johanna. “It started off with the Gateway program and grew into a sisterhood with mentorship…with lots of support and mentors through the Women in Trades program.”
Johanna landed with Greyback Construction in Penticton, attending school every year for approximately six weeks as she worked her way through her four-year apprenticeship. She learned that there was a fine balance between in-class education and the knowledge acquired through experience on the job site and how the two go hand-in-hand.
“I’m just very appreciative of everyone who has helped me throughout my journey, offering me wisdom,” added Johanna. “I use it every day…it has helped me become that resource for future trades people, which is really cool.”
Johanna is now the Thompson-Okanagan representative for the BC Centre for Women in the Trades (BCWITT) and is actively building her resume to include supervising and safety certifications. She lists the ability to provide for her son and herself and the ability to do so in a relatively short period of time as her biggest accomplishment to date.
“It truly is a journey, it’s one that changed my life and I know it can change other peoples lives.”