Kim Grant and Hayley Clark - Professional Carpenters And A Journey in Friendship

Kim Grant and Hayley Clark "the Dynamic Duo" Women in Trades.

Kim Grant and Hayley Clark are recently graduated finish carpenters from the St. Lawrence College Carpentry Techniques Program. They currently work for Don Hogan Carpentry, specializing in building/Installing Stairs and Railings. Kim, also known as “Pip-Squeak”, originally started out in the Lawrentian/St. Lawrence College affiliate Nursing program and after 3 years moved her studies to carpentry where she found her love for wood-working and creating works of art to be proud of.

Kim is 3 years into completing the 4 years of her carpenters’ apprenticeship and aspires to become a Red Seal Carpenter. She hopes to one day own ‘Grant Construction’ and combine her Nursing and Carpentry skills to specialize in Accessible Housing.

Hayley is a finish-carpenter with Don Hogan Carpentry, specializing in rail installations. Out of high school Hayley completed Art Fundamentals at Sheridan College where she credits her finish-carpentry abilities to a background in visual arts. Employment prospects as a visual artist are competitive and hard to come by, especially without pursuing further education in a specialized degree program. As a young mother,this was not a suitable financial risk to take. She instead decided to enroll in Carpentry Techniques at St Lawrence College, a 3-semester program that promised employment directly out of school.

Initially the goal was to secure an income, but she found that she could direct her passions into a meaningful and enjoyable career path.

Kim and Hayley met at school during the 3-semester program and were inseparable by graduation. Kim was the first to start at Don Hogan Carpentry immediately after graduating. Hayley, soon joined after receiving a good review from her sister in the trades. The two amazing co-workers are now known as the dynamic duo Kayley.

In a primarily male dominated profession, we carry the heavy tools, provide the treats, and take care of our fellow women in the trades.

The trades can be a daunting career choice for any woman. There is fear over the uncertainty of how other professionals will react to our presence. In our experience we have had a large net of support from people who wish to see us succeed. There is a collective need for more women to enter the skilled trades,as job opportunities expand, as the working body diminishes. Coping with blunt interactions and decreased effective communication should be expected in some working environments and the only solution is to be prepared. Having the two of us together lends for open discussion, constructive criticism, and sometimes even a shoulder to cry on.

Left to Right: Hayley & Kim
Left to Right: Hayley & Kim

Women need each other. By sticking together, we can create a comfortable working environment and productive camaraderie among all co-workers.

Although some days are rough; with working bathrooms being a rarity and physically exhausting long days, we wouldn’t trade in our work boots for anything. We both strive to bring dedication and respect to any job site and in turn expect the same from all our co-workers.

 

By: Kim Grant and Hayley Clark

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