Steven Tucker has made a name for himself at East Side Ventilation.
Tucker has worked at the Transcona-based company for six years, and was honoured by the Province of Manitoba with a Highest Achievement Award on April 26.
The gala, at the Winnipeg Convention Centre, was hosted by Entrepreneurship, Training and
Trade Minister Peter Bjornson. A press release described the 41 award winners as being the "best in their field, based on criteria such as on-the-job performance, classroom accomplishments and recognition from employers and instructors."
Tucker recalled opening the letter informing him of the award — he was planting flowers in planters he had recently made. His hands still dirty, he clasped the paper in disbelief.
"’Holy smokes, I’m winning awards and planting flowers! I don’t even know myself anymore,’" recalled Tucker.
Tucker, a St. Adolphe resident, got hooked up with East Side through a friend shortly after his graduation from St. Norbert Collegiate.
"I finished high school and was looking for something that paid a little more than pumping gas," he said. "They hired me straight away out of high school."
Tucker said there was a three-month probationary period before he could officially sign up as an apprentice. From there, Tucker attended sheet metal classes at Red River College for two months of the year.
He said he’s enjoyed working on major projects like the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and McPhillips Station and Club Regent casinos.
East Side project manager Russ Neufeld said Tucker’s award is a feather in the cap of both Tucker and the company.
"He’s done very well, he’s handled himself well. He’s a good apprentice," said Neufeld. "He’s taking on a little more leadership and a little more responsibility (on) jobs."
Neufeld said he sees Tucker eventually becoming a foreman with the company.