Trade Exploration Profile: Pat Weir
Before suffering a brain injury in 2005, Pat Weir lived a life on the go. Though he wanted to maintain that lifestyle after his injury, Pat understood his brain didn’t function as it once had. This realization left him feeling depressed and directionless in life.
“People change after a brain injury and lots of people don’t understand that,” Pat said. “People with brain injuries just think and process things differently than people without brain injuries.”
In 2018, Pat moved to Prince George from Haidi Gwaii to be closer to his older brother. Through a series of event that found him in the “right place at the right time,” Pat was introduced to the Prince George Brain Injured Group (PG BIG). Before joining PG BIG, Pat thought he was going crazy, or had Alzheimer’s, because he couldn’t stop going around in circles in his mind.
“Thanks to PG BIG, I learned more about my brain injury and was given skills and tools to be able to adapt,” he said.
In 2019, Pat was chosen as one of eight students to participate in a new Trades Exploration Program at the College of New Caledonia (CNC) in Prince George.
The program, which is a first for British Columbia, was developed to help underemployed and unemployed individuals with brain injuries explore trades occupations as a carpenter, automotive service technician, and professional cook as well as gain the skills needed to obtain entry into in those industries.
The Industry Training Authority (ITA) and PG BIG partnered with the Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association (PGNAETA) and CNC to fund and deliver this innovative 12-week pilot program.
Of the three trades, Pat has enjoyed Automotive Service Technician the most. Though he wants to get back into the work force, his goal at this moment is get his Adult Dogwood and set a positive example for his son, Daniel.
“He’s my motivation,” Pat said. “Being in this program has been a way for me to feel like a part of the community and contribute to society again.”
After completing his Adult Dogwood, Pat is determined to take CNC’s Automotive Service Technician program with the goal of specializing in tires and brakes.
“I wasn’t given the tools I needed at the beginning of life,” he said. “But it’s never too late to go back to school. I didn’t think it was possible. I thought I was helpless. This program has given me purpose and direction in life.”
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