I often post stories and pictures about our apprentices here at the Finishing Trades institute of BC, extolling the good work they do as they learn a trade. However, I was particularly struck by the initiative shown recently by one of our painting apprentices and DC 38 member, Steve McBride.
Steve, having seen the work performed by our apprentices from all four of the crafts we teach here, had an idea about taking the of skills his fellow apprentices, combined with the tools, materials and instruction supplied by the FTI, and turning all of that toward a project with a higher purpose. Steve thought why not take some of the structures that our apprentices construct and turn them into portable, temporary housing units for the homeless.
This is not as far fetched an idea as you might think. There was a story a couple of years ago where individuals in the state of Oregon had come up with a similar idea building small structures which had proved effective in providing shelter to homeless people in that community. When you take a look at the picture at the top of this story you can see that with a little imagination and some additional work and design change, our mock-ups do look like small homes.
Steve thought, wouldn’t it make sense to build these projects with a positive purpose in mind rather than building practice projects that would eventually be sent out to be recycled or worse, scrapped. Rather than keep this idea to himself, Steve decided to share those thoughts in an email he sent to the Premier of the province of British Columbia. To Steve’s surprise not only did he receive a response from the Premier’s office but from several high ranking bureaucrats including the Executive Director of Governance, Engagement and Corporate Services Branch of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.
Where Steve’s idea will go has yet to be seen but you have to admire his initiative and his obvious love and respect for the work all of us do here at the FTI of BC.
There is one little caveat I must add to this story however. While we appreciate Steve’s enthusiasm and initiative, we really would appreciate it if our students would share those thoughts with us prior to contacting persons in government or other outside agencies. Steve has a great idea but we’d like the chance to discuss the cost and time commitments involved in a special project or idea such as this. That way we at least we will know how to respond.
Keep up the the good work Steve and please………. keep us in the loop.