Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

Nov 9, 2018

Peers and ProfilesAllison Wood and Dominique Rivet are two apprentices who had a wealth of career options available to them but chose to work in the powerline trades. They couldn’t be happier with their decision.

“The trades may be a little rough around the edges,” says apprentice powerline maintainer Allison Wood. “But I love that it’s never the same day twice.”

Wood, now a second-term apprentice with IBEW Local 636 in Niagara, had a lot of options when she graduated high school. With a lot of math and science courses under her belt and a track record of 80s and 90s in her classes, she was considering becoming a doctor.

What changed her mind? “I didn’t want to sit in a classroom for years, just racking up debt. I was also really enjoying my technical classes, and decided I like working with my hands just as much as I like mental stimulation.”

Dominique Rivet (shown in photo), also an apprentice with IBEW Local 636, was initially was looking at becoming an electrical engineer. “After completing a semester I realized I was much more interested in building and troubleshooting the circuits than designing them,” she says. “I did a great co-op placement with an engineering firm, but there was no field work.”
Rivet is an apprentice power station electrician with Hydro Ottawa, and their second female in the role. Prior to that, she was Hydro Ottawa’s first female apprentice metering technician.
She’s very happy with her choice and her path. “For a long time it’s been my goal to get into a utility company. Everything here is great, and the team here really makes me feel included. Once I have my license and get more experience, my goal is to get a tech position here, doing protection and control of the lines.”

Finding their dream jobs

“A few years ago, I saw a video showing a linesman working high up on a pole, and I just thought that what he was doing was so cool,” says Wood. That video became the inspiration to her career path.

Wood had started on an apprenticeship doing construction and maintenance electrical work. But as a petite female, her supervisors felt she wasn’t physically strong enough to do the job. She lost her position, but that didn’t stop Wood from pursuing her dream.

“I started working with a personal trainer,” she says. “Some of the tools an electrician uses can be heavy, and you do need to have the hand strength to use things like hand crimps. I worked hard and developed the upper body strength I needed.”

It was at that point that she saw the video that inspired her to change direction. She applied to Niagara Peninsula Energy as an apprentice Powerline Maintainer and is working through her probationary year as a member of IBEW.

Rivet’s journey to her power station work was less direct. “I took a bit of a longer route and started by getting my instrumentation and control engineering diploma, followed afterwards by my electrical engineering technologist diploma.”

While she notes her job is physically demanding, Rivet didn’t have any trouble with the physical requirements. “I play hockey and I box, so I found it challenging but very doable.”
Rivet cites another key quality she feels is needed to be a success in her field. “Personally I think a good attitude is very important in being an exceptional electrician. I believe someone who comes to work optimistic and happy is more prone to working safely. Being more involved in the day to day business means they will learn more about the trade.”


Loving the work

Since she signed on with Niagara Peninsula Energy, Wood has attended several rounds of in-class instruction and has assisted journeymen with restoring power to homes and businesses after storms and other incidents. After one storm, she had her first taste of some of the long hours powerline workers sometimes face with a 7:00 am to 11:00 pm shift.

For Wood, however, it’s all a part of a job she loves. “In school I’ve been climbing 65’ poles, practicing pole-top rescue, stringing wires and changing transformers.” She clearly can’t wait until she’s able to do these tasks in the field.

She also likes the work she’s currently doing, under the careful supervision of the journeymen on her team. “This week a car crash resulted in a pole being snapped in two. The only thing holding up the top was the communications cable. Once power to the pole was disconnected, we went in, stripped off all the overhead lines. When the new pole was put in place, we reconnected everything. It was a basic pole, so the whole thing took about four hours. It can take longer for more complicated poles.”

She really likes the training aspect of her apprenticeship as well as the overall atmosphere. “All the guys are really helpful. If you’ve got a problem they’ll help you work through it, asking you questions so that you learn to step back, reassess, and go at the problem from a different angle. It’s very logical, and no one shoots you down or tells you, ‘That’s a stupid question.’ They’re very keen on helping you through the learning process, explaining why we use certain materials or processes.”

While Rivet won’t be climbing hydro poles, she is learning to do critical work that keeps the power flowing throughout the city of Ottawa.

“Right now I’m on a maintenance crew, and we go through each cell in a station and calibrate and test the relays, breakers, switch and other parts, and perform any necessary repairs to all the cell equipment.”

She notes that she’ll be doing something different fairly soon. “Hydro Ottawa is pretty good for rotating their apprentices through all the different aspects of the job. After maintenance, I should be joining a capital crew which involves building and commissioning new stations.”

Rivet has also seen her share of repair work due to storms, like the one that hit Ottawa in spring 2018.

“The power was out all over the city and it was while I was on the inspection crew. We were asked to walk some of the lines to find a fault since all of the powerline technicians were needed to repair the numerous lines that were down. We eventually found the fault — it was a very big maple tree that was leaning up across two phases. We made the area safe and ensured no one from the public would go near the line or the tree, and waited for a line crew to come to do the repair.”

Challenges and rewards

Do they find there are any big challenges as women in the electrical power trades?

“I’ve been pretty fortunate. So far all the guys are pretty good for making me feel part of the group,” says Rivet. “I guess the biggest challenge I have is finding bathrooms while I’m out on the road, since it’s not as easy for me as it is for the guys,” she laughs.

“That, and finding work gloves in size small,” says Wood.

As it’s not yet a common sight to see a woman on a powerline crew, Wood does get a surprised reaction sometimes from members of the public. “But nothing mean,” she says. “Just light-hearted jokes. Once someone saw me with the guys and said, ‘There’s a rose between the thorns.’ That kind of thing.”

Rivet agrees. “I think the nicest comment I have ever received happened when I was going home from work. I was in the elevator with a mother and her two children, and the little girl just thought I was the coolest person ever. She was flooding me with all sorts of questions.”

Peer support helps along the way

As part of the small percentage of female power supply electricians, these young women are in a unique situation.

Thankfully they can connect with other women in the trades through Women of Powerline Technicians. Women of PLT is a volunteer based organization that hosts networking events, field trips, 24/7 online accessible peer group, no cost mentoring, career postings and more. They are able to provide these activities thanks to the generous support of Oakville Hydro.

“Lana (Norton, Women of PLT’s founder) is a coworker of mine and she’s been great for providing me with information regarding different events for women in the trade,” says Rivet. “Being a member has helped me be in contact with other women in a similar trade.”

For her part, Wood is also becoming a mentor with the group. “There’s a girl who just started, and I’ve been helping her with tips, and even giving her some old textbooks.”

Proving that anything is possible

What would these apprentices say to other young people, especially young women, about going for their trade?

“Anything is possible if you put your mind to it,” says Rivet. “It’s also important to never give up even if things don’t work out the way you’d like them to the first time around.”

This article was first published on Powering Communities, an online initiative of the Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario (ECAO) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The ECAO and IBEW are a formidable team of employers and electricians who are recognized industry leaders in delivering safe, stable and high
quality electrical/telecommunications construction and maintenance services.

Find out more: www.poweringcommunities.ca

Changing Scene

  • Prev
The BCEA's Woman's Network THRIVE Summit is taking place on October 4th at the Executive Inn ...
NSI Industries has announced the acquisition of electrical products manufacturer Bridgeport ...
The National Electrical Trade Council (NETCO)—jointly sponsored by International Brotherhood ...
IDEAL Electrical has launched its fourth annual national competition to find the best ...
IDEAL Industries Canada has announced the appointment of Sean Bernard as Regional Sales Manager to ...
In his new role as Stelpro's Vice-President, Sales and Business Development, ...
The Support Equity and Under-Represented Groups project will address the under-representation of ...
Show your support by sharing a photo or experience of how a lineworker has made an impact in your ...
Eleven highly accomplished Hamiltonians are being honoured by Mohawk College as Distinguished ...
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources recently announced the Governor in Council has ...

Electrician Forum Brought to you by Schneider Electric

As industry experts you know the products you use everyday better than anyone and should have input on what information you receive about products and what could improve them.

Therefore, we want your insight on the biggest challenges or issues you face when installing loadcentres, breakers (CAFI, GFI's…) and other surge protection devices. We ask that you do not provide product specific details but rather your general issues and concerns or any questions that have come to mind while working with these product types. Provide us with your valued expert insight into the issues you have faced so manufacturers can better inform you about the installation and use of these products. Lets generate some discussion that will help guide the Industry.

Make your comments  HERE

 

ABB PortalThe ABB eFinder portal simplifies the process of locating inventory from ABB’s selection of products used for connection and transmission of electrical power. Customers may now search online for ABB Installation Products and can purchase them from the distributor who has the products in stock. Once the product is located, the customer may buy it from the distributor by connecting directly to the distributor’s e-commerce page and placing the products in an online shopping cart for the final purchase transaction.

 

 

 

Read More

 

 

 

Codes and Regulations Brought to You by the CSA Group

  • Prev
The Code is a comprehensive document. Sometimes it can seem quite daunting to quickly find the ...
The Code is a comprehensive document. Sometimes it can seem quite daunting to quickly find the ...
In this article: Tables — Part B. This section of the Code contains 99 tables of essential ...
In this article: Section 58 — Passenger Ropeways and Similar Equipment. Rule 58-000 ...
  Unauthorized CSA Group certification marks have been found on wiring by Triumph Cable ...
In this article: Section 52 — Diagnostic imaging installations. The CE code is a ...
In this article: Section 46 — Emergency Power Supply, Unit Equipment, Exit Signs, and ...
  In this article: Section 44 — Theatre Installations. The CE Code is a ...
CSA has published C22.2 No. 60947-7-3, the harmonized standard for low-voltage switchgear and ...
  Electric welders. The CE Code is a comprehensive document. Sometimes it can seem ...

 

PolycarbonateElectronic waste is a huge issue, with Statista estimating nearly 50 million metric tons were generated globally last year alone.* Some of the materials traditionally used in LED lamp and luminaire components contribute to e-waste, and the industry is seeking more sustainable material alternatives. Thermally conductive (TC) polycarbonates, like those from Covestro, can replace aluminum in heat sinks, providing just such a replacement option. (The back enclosure of the A.L.P. Lighting Recruit wall mount fixture, shown in photo, is injection moulded from Makrolon TC polycarbonate.)

 

Read More 

Latest Articles

  • Prev
Pick up a newspaper or scan your preferred electronic newsfeed and you’ll likely see a series ...
Britech Corp, one of Canada’s largest heating cable companies has signed a formal agreement ...
Electrical enclosures serve to protect electrical devices from adverse environmental influences, ...

 

White PaperBy Steven Carlini, Schneider Electric

Internet use is trending towards bandwidth-intensive content and an increasing number of attached “things.” At the same time, mobile telecom networks and data networks are converging into a cloud computing architecture. To support needs today and tomorrow, computing power and storage is being inserted out on the network edge in order to lower data transport time and increase availability. Edge computing places data acquisition and control functions, storage of high bandwidth content, and applications closer to the end user. This white paper explains the drivers of edge computing and explores the various types of edge computing available.

Read More

 

 

Tools for the Trade

  • Prev
  IDEAL Industries has introduced Combination Drill Taps to its tool lineup. Combining the ...
  Stripping and crimping device, 100 - 240 V input voltage, for insulated ferrules with a ...
Professional all-in-one cutter/stripper for coaxial and twisted pair cables     ...
  Klein Tools' Coax Explorrer 2 tests coaxial cable and maps up to 4 locations   ...
  Ideal Industries' T-14 wire stripper s are ideal for all professionals working within the ...
  The ATS850 conveyor eliminates all types of electro static discharge requirements. ...
  Lorik Tool & Automation has the experience and ability to manufacture a variety of ...
  Ideal Industries' 26 piece insulated Journeyman kit is ideal for new electricians or for ...
  Klein Tools Deluxe Fish Rod Set comes in 19 pieces that when assembled can fish wire and ...
  BendWorks Software was designed to help electrical contractors adopt this new process ...

Project DotWhether sitting in a second-floor meeting space, or entering the lobby, it’s impossible not to notice the playful lighting fixtures at Dot Foods, Inc. At night, even passers-by can enjoy the circular fixtures that are visible through the two-storey pane glass windows of its Mt. Sterling, Illinois location.

Dot Foods is the largest food industry redistributor in the U.S. and has been expanding and renovating throughout its headquarters over a couple of years. The main lobby area is the latest to get an upgrade, and as the first point of contact for many entering the facility it had to leave an instant impression.

 

 

Read More

 

Product News

  • Prev
One of the core requirements of flexible production is the ability to quickly install machines and ...
EarthTronics introduces its new Slim LED Recessed Downlight Series designed for energy efficiency ...
Luminaire manufacturers’ efforts to deliver consistent, quality light across their luminaire ...
Cree Lighting, a company of IDEAL INDUSTRIES, recently announced the availability of its new Stylus ...
Weidmuller has launched its new INSTA-POWER product series. The single phased, primary switching ...
Ocal PVC-coated conduit and fittings represent a complete corrosion protection package for your ...
The new 60 Watt LED Work Light is ideal for any construction site or environment in need ...
EcoGen's Flexible Neon Series is suitable for both exterior and interior applications on ...
Create fresh luminaire forms, geometric or organic patterns, distinctive angles and intersections ...
Toshiba International Corporation has successfully secured a patent for the design of ...

 

Strip LightsEcoGen's Flexible Neon Series is suitable for both exterior and interior applications on residential or commercial buildings. The use of LED supposed to lights is quickly rising in terms of building design on a global level. These simple lights are more efficient, greater and are easy to install. When it comes to LED Flexible Strip lighting, you have a number of different options available and when it  comes to the time to decide, which one is best for you, there are different things that should be considered.

 

 

 

Read More

 

 

Copper $US Dollar price per pound

Kerrwil Publications

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2019 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil