Chris Shiner always enjoyed operating machines and wanted to train with a certified program that would successfully prepare him for a future career as a heavy equipment operator. Shiner saw a great opportunity to reach his target through Campus Alberta Central (CAC). The Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) Certificate program ran from September 5, 2017 – November 24, 2017 in Drumheller, and Shiner was pleased with his decision to train through CAC.
“The primary draw for me was that the training was from an accredited post-secondary institution, and I felt that would better position me for a future career in the field,” he said.
The former owner of a catering company, who also worked as a snow-maker and a foreman of a tree planting crew, decided to return to school to better his future and follow his passion after a workplace injury. “I wanted a change in careers and this program was something that I was interested in,” said Shiner, who commuted from Calgary to Drumheller. “The program length of 12 weeks was appealing. I have always enjoyed working with machines and in the past I worked extensively with snow-cats.”
Being able to practice on up to date equipment at a reasonable personal investment was appealing. “I was able to work with brand new equipment which was a big benefit. The cost of the program was also less than if I trained through a private organization,” said Shiner. “I enjoyed the course and the people, and I made some good friends.”
The quality programming helped Shiner quickly acquire work. “I moved to Langley, BC, the day after my course finished because I secured employment in the field,” he said. “My schooling provided me with the basics, and my on the job experience will give me the hours needed to reach the level of a competent operator.”
Shiner appreciated the evolution of equipment know-how and diversity of the program. “I liked the progression of the skills taught and the opportunity to work on all of the machines,” he said. “I feel capable of handling a variety of machines now.”
Shannel Boon, Drumheller
As a busy mother of three, Shannel Boon has always been passionate about caring for others. In January 2017, she decided to turn her passion into her profession when she enrolled in the Health Care Aide program offered through Campus Alberta Central.
“Caring for people is something that I’ve done all my life,” she describes, “and I thought I might as well get the education to support an area that has always been a huge part of who I am.”
For Shannel, her decision to return to school at this stage of life was influenced by tragedy, as she unexpectedly lost her husband in August of 2016. “When he passed away, I started to consider how I might need to make a change to support my children and to create a new career path for me.”
The Health Care Aide program, offered in her hometown of Drumheller, was the perfect fit for her lifestyle and goals. “The location was crucial for me, I had been looking at options in other communities, but I didn’t want to have to travel as that would impact my kids, and it could become very challenging in the winter,” she says. “A program that could have been out-of-reach became an opportunity for me, because it was offered where I live.”
Once she began her courses, Shannel found tremendous benefit in learning from her two experienced instructors, located in Drumheller. She also connected with her classmates through in-class and practical learning, and she looks forward to applying her skills in her month-long clinical experience. “The hands-on and clinical components are such valuable parts of this program,” she says. “Now, working in a care setting, it means so much to know that I can help people and make their days a little brighter.”
Looking to her future, Shannel feels confident that her decision to pursue her Health Care Aide Certificate was the right choice, and she has the long-term goal of continuing her education to attain her Nursing designation. “you can never be scared to learn something new or to start down a new path,” she says. “I have loved and learned and grown so much from this experience.”