Métis electrician offers words of advice for job seekers
Travis Ostroskie had been looking for an opportunity to work as an electrician in the nuclear industry when he learned about OPG’s Indigenous Opportunities in Nuclear (ION) program.
A member of the Métis Golden Lake Algonquin, Ostroskie contacted the Kagita Mikam Aboriginal Training and Employment agency who encouraged him to apply to ION. He is now working as an electrical apprentice at Pickering Nuclear Generating Station where he’s helping to update communications systems for Wi-Fi across the plant.
“I worked for a couple months on OPG’s Nanticoke Solar project, then answered the call for the Pickering job when that contract ended. It was the kind of job I had been looking for,” Ostroskie said.
OPG established ION to promote career opportunities in nuclear and to increase the number of Indigenous people working in the fast-growing industry. Kagita Mikam is one of OPG’s project partners helping to recruit, assess and train qualified program candidates.
“I was familiar with Kagita Mikam,” he said. “They’ve been a great help to my family in the past. My sister used their services a couple years ago to become a hairdresser.”
Ostroskie counts building relationships with Kagita Mikam, the streamlined ION application process, and being an active participant in the process as keys to his success in the program.
“I contacted Kagita Mikam and asked questions,” he said. “Throughout the process, I always knew that things were moving along and going in the right direction.”
After five more years as an apprentice, Travis will have earned his Red Seal Journeyman electrician designation. In the meantime, he hopes to remain part of the OPG team, which he says has helped him get familiar with working in nuclear and comfortable with the work.
His words of advice to anyone interested in taking on a new career challenge are simple yet helpful: “Don’t be afraid to try something different. Do the research, contact Kagita Mikam and ask about ION. These programs are out there to help, and they work.”