• By: Marie Waine

Representing Canadian workers: the IBEW and Kathy Choquette

"I knew I wanted to get into a trade,” says Kathy Choquette, an electrical foreman with Ziebarth Electrical Contractors Inc. (ZEC). Choquette is celebrating 10 years with the company and 21 years with the IBEW. It all started in 1989 when she took the Women in Trades and Technology course at Algonquin College. Choquette’s interest peaked and she soon found herself taking women in electric trade training, where she worked in a placement with an IBEW company. She was signed up with the union soon after.

“I really like working on big job sites with a big crew and how everyone has to work together to get the job done,” says Choquette. While the camaraderie is great, Choquette says the job can be tough. However, she enjoys the challenges.

Once Choquette found what works for her, she found immediate gratification. Choquette says the fact she gets to be active and do something hands on every single day makes the job satisfying. She can see the results of her work contributing to the community.

One of the major jobs she worked on with ZEC was Ottawa’s Ikea. Choquette says it is exciting for her children to see what their mom helped create when driving down the highway. Choquette and her husband, who is also an electrician, have three children.

Choquette likes to participate in IBEW events, such as conferences, seminars and social events. “I absolutely love every part of my work,” she says. “It’s a great community.”

To learn more about the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Canada, visit www.ibewcanada.ca.