Aboriginal People in the Trades: Nolan Sappier

Nolan Sappier  and John Deveau (Project Manager at HVET)

Nolan Sappier and John Deveau (Project Manager at HVET)

Nolan Sappier followed in his brother’s footsteps when he signed up for the Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) training program put on by JEDI and High Velocity Equipment Training (HVET). Nolan’s brother had already taken the HEO certification and his positive experience was a major influence towards Nolan’s decision to pursue this kind of work.

“My brother took it first and said it was interesting, then I wanted to take it after that,” said Nolan. “I’m a first year apprentice plumber, I did that right after high school. Then I was out west and I’ve just been jumping around doing different things since then.”

Nolan was one of the 16 Heavy Equipment Operators who graduated from the HEO training program in Tobique First Nation in July. The HEO course ran for 12 weeks and the students learned how to operate a skid steer, bulldozer, backhoe, excavator, and a front end loader.

“My favourite piece of equipment was the bulldozer because I got the hang of it really quick, while most other students struggled with it,” said Nolan. “The best part of the training was the hands on stuff. I love being a Heavy Equipment Operator. I like moving earth.”

Now that he has graduated Nolan says he’ll probably go out west again, saying that the majority of the jobs he applied for are located out there.

“I’ve got replies that say they’ll consider me for future positions,” said Nolan. “I really like it out west. I’m hoping to go out there when the summer is over.”

With his new certification in hand, Nolan stresses a sense of commitment is necessary to succeed. His advice to others interested in the trades is, “Listen to the teachers and follow the guidelines. Be there every day.”

Nolan would like to thank the whole training staff, his fellow students, and JEDI for putting the program on and making the course possible.

JEDI wishes Nolan the best of luck in following his new career path.