Elmer Verigin was one of ICBA’s founders, a former chair of our board, and now a life member of the association. He recently sent us a note with this story:

Elmer Verigin

Today, I had a special moment.

This flashy pickup truck stopped and hailed me on my morning walk. Being hearing challenged, I had to walk over to understand what he was saying.

“My name is Jason and I was part of the first Carpentry Apprenticeship class (15 total) that were afforded the opportunity to take Carpentry Apprenticeship as a grade 12 class at J. Lloyd Crowe High School in 2003,” he explained.

This class worked with the Independent Contractors and Businesses of British Columbia (ICBA) and then were hired to build 5 cabins and a Camp Services Building at Whatshan. The Whatshan Lake Retreat was then privileged to offer 2 Journeyman Carpenters and retired Superintendents to provide on site supervision and instruction.

“So did you achieve your Red Seal Journeyman status?” I was excited in my question to Jason.

“Yes, and as you see I am now have my own Building Contractor business out of Montrose,” he was proud to explain.

He carried on with, “I was driving by and recognized you. I just wanted to provide you with my gratitude in offering such an opportunity to students like myself and now we have a career.”

I was overwhelmed with emotion. It is not often that one gets an opportunity to meet people this way.

“Are you busy?” I finally was able to speak.

“Yes, very busy!” he responded.

Just another day in my life — or was it?

Thanks to Elmer for sending us this story. It’s a great reminder of how ICBA’s work in construction not only builds better communities — but also great careers for individual tradespeople!