Riley Cook

Riley Cook - Ready Arc Training and Testing graduate

Riley Cook

Let’s meet Riley, who after 14 years serving with the Canadian Forces, spent every day over the last six months traveling back and forth from Zealand (30 minutes north of Fredericton!) to train with us here at Ready Arc.

Riley, what were you up to before coming here?

In 2018, I retired from the Canadian Forces after serving for 14 years. After that, I spent a couple of winters as a snow plow operator for the province and now, here I am.

Why welding?

My father always told me to get a trade, something that has always been in the back of my mind over the years. I found myself drawn to welding since I like using my hands, and I’m a naturally mechanical person. Honestly, I didn’t know much about welding at all, but I wanted to learn and it sparked my interest.

What made you choose Ready Arc?

Starting out, it was a simple Google search. I typed in welding, Ready Arc popped right up, and I started doing some research. What drew me to Ready Arc was how many tickets you can walk away with when you leave here. As soon as I saw how many tickets you can get in comparison to other courses, I thought to myself: “Well, obviously, I’m going to go there.”

So, how were your six months with us?

It was great. I had an awesome experience here, and I learned so much. The instructors are great; you get something out of everything they teach you. I also really liked how the course was laid out, with class in the morning and being in the shop all afternoon. One of the things I really liked was that you can do it at your own pace. In my case, I was able to get ahead a little bit, and there was nothing in my path to slow me down. As I leave here, I’m feeling confident going forward and getting a job in the welding industry. I also feel like if someone asks me to do something, I’m going to know what I’m doing. As an apprentice, I’m that little bit further ahead than entry-level, like I have a head start.

You made it to graduation day. What’s next?

I’m hoping to join a union and actually have a meeting set up already. I look forward to hitting the ground running. I’ll keep travelling from Fredericton for the next six months to a year to see where this takes me while my daughter is in school, but we’ll probably end up moving here to Saint John if all goes well.