Erica Sparks It's a Star Student Throwback: Meet Erica. Erica was one of our very first graduates under our new ownership many moons ago. She was also the very first to obtain her Red Seal after graduating from our program. She’s now living and working and raising her family here in New Brunswick with her (also a welder) husband, something we think is worth celebrating! During her time with us at Ready Arc, way back when, Erica worked as a bartender until the wee hours of the morning and still came to class ready to learn each and every day. We reached out to Erica to see how she’s doing these days and here’s what she had to say… “You could say welding is in my blood. I have many family members that are welders or pipefitters. I decided I wanted to be the first female in my family to do it – and so it began. My time at Ready Arc was awesome. I learned what I needed to faster than other colleges and acquired more welding tickets. It was a hard course for me in the classroom but I had great help from my teachers and classmates. In the shop there was unlimited help as well, the teachers there really want you to succeed. When I graduated in February of 2014, I headed out west with my boyfriend to find work - first in Edmonton and then Fort Mac. We were out there about 9 months before coming home to New Brunswick. I got hired at a large shop for a few months, and then applied with a local union and was accepted. I was then able to go through the apprenticeship program, and within 3 years - I had my Red Seal. Being the first woman in that union’s history to go through apprenticeship for welding and acquire my journeyman status is something I am so so proud of. I've now worked at refineries, oil sands, nuclear plants, mills and shops and I’m still with them going strong. When I started welding I wanted to do it for the money, now I do it for my kids and my husband. I'm still learning every single day, and Ready Arc jumpstarted me and prepared me for this amazing career. For that, I am always grateful!” Back To "Star Students"