Thomas Klein

Thomas standing in front of the Four Food Chiefs sculpture in the Health Science Centre

Even as a kid I knew I would go into the trades. An office job wouldn’t work for me because my ADHD makes it hard for me to sit still for too long, and my reading and writing aren’t the best.”

“One of my high school teachers got me into sheet metal. The school helped me enroll in Okanagan College’s Sheet Metal Worker Foundation Certificate program. The program allowed me to learn a lot of new techniques, test out ideas, and try new things.

When I first found out that I got the George Nicholson Memorial Sheet Metal Worker Award, I was so surprised; I couldn’t believe it! I even called Okanagan College Foundation to double-check I’d actually received the award. I just didn’t expect it, and I’m still having a hard time accepting that they chose me – but I’m really grateful they did.

I know that the award that I got is a memorial, so I want to make sure I use the money for something important. I think I’m going to use it to buy a fuel-efficient used car.

I apprenticed with Geotility in high school, and I’ve worked for them ever since. Finishing the Sheet Metal Foundations course helped get me a promotion at work. Now I’m a fabricator. I make fittings that are used in duct work.

I love my job, and I make a living wage. Right now, I’m saving up to buy a mobile home. I think I’ll have enough for a down payment in about three years.

One thing I’ve learned is that I do well when I have a goal. Now that I’ve finished my Red Seal (Sheet Metal Worker Trade Certificate), I’d like to take some more (trades) tickets.

My grandfather said you can never get too many tickets. I want to get some welding tickets because I feel that could help my company out and because I love to learn new things.

I’m also trying to get into artistic metalwork. I want to make unique signs with metal cutouts of landscapes and people. To do that, I need to learn a program called Inkscape. So, I’m figuring out how I can get trained on that.

I hear problems happen for people when they have no goals or direction. For me, I like to keep moving forward. Maybe that need to move forward all the time is because of my ADHD; I just don’t want to stand still. I don’t want to be stagnant."

Published By College Relations on September 1, 2022