Experimentation, curiosity bode well for career path, apprentice says | Local News

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Erik Arnone is a St. Ignatius High School graduate and has entered into an apprenticeship at Carstar Thunder Bay (Halfway Motors).

Arnone says he is grateful to Carstar owner Daniel Trevisanutto for providing the career opportunity for him. His message for upcoming graduates is to ask questions and try things out.

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions because the more questions you have, the more you’re going to learn,” he said. “All throughout high school I had been taking automotive courses, and one year there was a job fair that our whole class got to take part in.”

Arnone was referring to the Level Up provincial trade fair provided by Skilled Trades Ontario that took place in Thunder Bay in September.

“At the job fair, I was looking around and I didn’t really know what I wanted to do yet,” Arnone said.

“There was welding and painting and other things that I was leaning more towards. But then I saw the Carstar booth. I walked over there and I talked to Daniel Trevisanutto. I looked at all the pamphlets and decided this looks pretty appealing. I asked him, ‘Hey, could I get a co-op position there?’ And he told me they hadn’t done it before, but yeah, he could give me a call back. I got the call, and then that call turned into an apprenticeship.”

Arnone says the Level Up trade fair was game-changing for him and said, “I wouldn’t have gotten this job without that.”

Trevisanutto called the Level Up program a “big deal” and says it’s the right thing at the right time.

“We’re hearing more often, especially around the narrative of the housing crisis, how imperative the trades are now more than ever, and I think that showing students all the different options that are available is crucial,” Trevisanutto said, adding metal workers, mechanics, body men, bricklayers, and so many other different career options were represented at the event.

“For some kids, I think (trades) could be a much more viable career path for them. There are a lot of kids that prefer to work with their hands or prefer to be doing something a lot more tactile than just sitting around doing paperwork all day,” he said.

Trevisanutto pointed out that employee retention is another contributing factor to the workforce overall.

“Anyone can give you a paycheque, but who’s going to make you feel good about working for that employer to be somewhere you’re comfortable and that you can be proud to work for?” he said.

He said the Carstar Thunder Bay franchise, which Trevisanutto owns with his father, John, and brother Patrick under the Halfway Motors umbrella, strives to do this.

Trevisanutto has been recognized for the company’s alignment with Our Kids Count, which is a charity of Halfway Motors and Carstar’s choice.

The Trevisanutto team has also made a $100,000 commitment to Roots Community Food Centre and they are aligned with different charities such as the Dew Drop Inn, Shelter House, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Thunder Bay and the Sleeping Giant Loppet.

In the spring of 2022, Trevisanutto and his team reached out community-wide to raise funds for Ukrainian relief.

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