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Natalee Lewis

Sheridan grad Natalee Lewis

Faculty of Applied Science & Technology

Degree: Mechanical Techniques - Plumbing

Year of graduation: 2014

Canadians often don’t consider where our water comes from. Natalee Lewis is reminded on a daily basis. A plumbing apprentice at UA Local 46 in Toronto, she has a new appreciation for the important role plumbing plays in providing us with abundant and clean water.

“There are so many different types of plumbing from service to commercial, to industrial, medical and dental,” says the 2014 graduate of the Mechanical Techniques-Plumbing program.

Natalee’s interest in the plumbing trade was sparked by her role as Project Manager, Business Development for Skills Canada, a not-for-profit agency in her hometown of Ottawa that promotes skilled trade and technology careers to youth.

“During my four years with Skills Canada, I was exposed to the idea that a career in the skilled trades can complement your passions. For me, I was interested in the humanitarian side of plumbing – focused on sanitation and helping save lives in developing countries. Doctors cure diseases, but plumbers actually help prevent them,” explains Natalee. “This is something we take for granted in the developed world.” Believing that sanitation is a human right, she has started work to establish a Canadian chapter of Plumbers Without Borders, a U.S.-based organization working to increase worldwide access to safe water.

After graduating from high school, Natalee never dreamt she would develop a passion for plumbing. She attended university as a matter of course, like many of her classmates. “A career in the skilled trades was never put on the option table for me,” says Natalee, who graduated with a degree in Canadian Studies and History in 2008 from Carleton University.

Having embarked on a fresh career path, Natalee is now putting her new skills to good use. She is currently working for a mechanical contracting company under the supervision of a journeyman. “My time at Sheridan has left me feeling very prepared for my job – I am doing work that a 2nd or 3rd year apprentice would typically do. I have the instructors in the Mechanical Plumbing Techniques program to thank for that.”

Natalee will become a journeyperson (licenced plumber) in approximately four and a half years.

Learn more about Sheridan’s Mechanical Techniques-Plumbing program.
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