Doug Luciani is the President and CEO of the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB Group). Kandise Barron is a boilermaker welder in the GTA. They share a passion for an industry that is growing in scope, both in Canada and around the world.
Doug Luciani is the ‘triple threat’ of his industry. The son of a glass-cutter for the construction trade, he earned a mechanical engineering degree at Western University before heading to Sheridan to obtain his Business Management and Welder Fitter credentials. He also holds an MBA from Western.
Luciani puts his broad skill set to good use as President and CEO of the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB Group), which regulates and trains welding professionals and companies throughout Canada and abroad. The CWB also works to promote the health of the industry through its Canadian Welding Association division.
With the average age of welders in Canada pushing 60, training is a critical issue, says Luciani. “We are working with high schools to return skilled trades to the curriculum across Canada and encourage more young people to enter a trade.”
In May 2015, the CWB Group launched Acorn, the first ever national end-to-end welding program in Canada. Acorn incorporates education, training, and assessment to create the skilled tradespeople Canada needs.
Welding teachers will receive training and certification needed to move this process forward. Through the development and dissemination of specialized curriculums, Acorn will also give existing welders access to cutting edge training. Read about the national welding program here
This is good news, according to Kandise Barron who was introduced to welding in high school in Whitby. She sees her chosen trade as an ideal marriage of art and technology. “Welding is like painting. You need steady hands, skill and an attention to detail. I love my job.”
As a boilermaker welder, Barron repairs and re-pipes commercial steam and hot-water boilers. Since graduating from Sheridan’s first Welding Techniques class in 2011, she has had little difficulty finding work. What’s more, as a member of the Boilermakers Union Local 128, she can work anywhere in the world.
The fact that the trades offer well-paying, transferrable jobs is certainly appealing, but landing employment is only the first step, says Barron. “Your technical knowledge may open doors but a willingness to learn, collaborate and work hard are some of the most important skills you need on the job,” says the Burlington resident who also studied in the glass program at Sheridan. “Welding is not like a production line. It’s more interactive than that.”
You will overcome any challenge with a good work ethic and desire to learn.
Luciani agrees, and adds that having a strong grasp of the science behind welding is also integral to excelling in the field. “Welders today need an understanding of automation and robotics, which have become key to the manufacturing process. It’s not enough to know how to run an arc.”
Regardless of what lies beyond the horizon for his industry, some fundamental rules for success remain the same, Luciani believes. “Never be afraid to fail. I learned my biggest lessons from my mistakes.”