Apprenticeship and Skilled Trades Alumni Stories

Vahid Kermanshah

Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technician,

Graduated 2011

“Some colleges only teach the heating part of the course, but at George Brown we studied different subjects."

Every day, Vahid Kermanshah has the opportunity to recall his days as a student in George Brown College’s Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technician program, because every day he gets to use the troubleshooting skills that he first learned here. In fact, it’s his favourite part of the job. “I love it, because it makes my brain work,” says Kermanshah. Today he is a Senior Service Technician for Reliance Home Comfort, where he works mostly on residential systems.   [Read Vahid Kermanshah's story...]

John Goodfellow-Jones

Plumbing Apprenticeship Program,

Graduated 2009

With every new condo tower that goes up in Toronto, Plumbing Apprenticeship Program graduate John Goodfellow-Jones is comforted by the fact that he will always have a job—and an important one at that. “I bring people water, which is essential.

It will never become obsolete,” he says.

Now 25 years old, John has enjoyed a steady rise in the plumbing field thanks in large part to George Brown. In 2005, with only six months of work experience, he was granted entry to the first level of the tri-level apprenticeship program. That eight-week learning period—usually preceded by at least a year of work experience, enabled him to get another job with a small plumbing company that services residential customers. 

Johan Drogell

Building Renovation Technician Program - T110

Graduated 2003

“The most rewarding part of the job is to be able to step back and look at what you have created, knowing it is going to be there way past your lifetime” says Johan, who was recently promoted to lead hand carpenter with with Walder & McSweeney Contracting. 

“My employer happened to be one of the two mandatory work placements in the college program. The placements gave me a chance to work with two different contractors, to get a feel for how things work on a jobsite, and how the contractors go about their business.”

Johan, who received the first ever international student scholarship for academic excellence & participation in extracurricular activities, enjoyed being part of such a mixed class of people with various work experience, age and cultures. “I still keep in touch with some of the graduates, if it is sharing work related stuff or just catching up.”

Career wise, Johan has plans to come back to school, not as a student but as a teacher this time, while still keeping one foot on the jobsite to get the best of both worlds and stay up to date. “I’ve been trained by the best and I now have so much knowledge to share with future carpenters.”