Strength under pressure led electrician to run her own business

Kera Lozier knew from a young age that she wanted to work with her hands. “When I was a kid, I took apart different electronics because I wanted to see how they worked,” she says. “Looking back, I think this is when I first realized I wanted a hands-on career.”
After completing high school, Lozier set her sights on a career as a veterinarian. But after working part-time as a veterinary technician, she soon concluded it was not the right job for her. Her next choice was kinesiology (the study of how the human body moves). “I thought this would fill my need to work in a hands-on environment,” says Lozier.
While waiting for a response from the university, she stumbled upon an apprenticeship handbook. “I flipped through the pages and came across the pre-employment Electrical program at Red River College. That was when a light bulb went off in my head.”
Lozier applied for the program and was accepted. The decision proved to be the first step in a 10-year career journey that has led to ownership of a successful business.
Strength under pressure
Lozier acknowledges that her chosen path was not always easy, but it was one she will never regret. “After I completed the pre-employment program, I struggled. It took me five months to find an employer who would hire me as an apprentice.”
Eventually, Lozier interviewed with a small electrical contracting company. The employer saw her determination and potential and, as a result, she was hired on the spot. She says her work experience with her new employer was always positive, but often challenging.
She was given a lot of responsibility, from helping to plan major electrical projects to organizing all the materials needed for each job. “I really felt I had to prove myself – just as any apprentice has to do – and it was hard work. But I used that pressure as my motivation to succeed.”
After four levels of technical training, Lozier completed her apprenticeship with the same company that originally hired her. “I owe a lot to them for giving me a chance,” she observes.
Lozier eventually decided to invest some time in learning the business side of the electrical trade. “I became interested in compiling estimates and keeping the books,” she remembers.
In February 2012, Lozier received Red Seal certification for the trade of Construction Electrician. That summer, she wrote the City of Winnipeg contractor licence exam.
After obtaining her contractor’s licence, she hit a speed bump in her journey. “I moved to a small town in rural Manitoba and worried that the electrical community didn’t take me seriously,” she recalls. “So I took matters into my own hands.”
Lozier decided to jump to the next step and opened her own business. Since July 2014, she has been the owner of an incorporated company. “It’s everything I expected and more,” she says.
Lozier is excited to see what the future holds but at this point is focused on establishing a name for herself and her company. “I truly believe that choosing a trade opens endless doors of opportunity, and I’m excited to find out where the next part of my journey takes me.”
To learn more about the apprenticeship program or opportunities available for journeypersons, visit http://www.manitoba.ca/tradecareers.
-Apprenticeship Manitoba

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