Father-daughter duo tackle their Electrical apprenticeship together

Anthony and Marla Rada
Anthony and Marla Rada

Anthony and Marla Rada's story is a testament to the impact that hard work and perseverance can make on your career.

Originally from the Philippines, Anthony’s wife came to Canada as a nurse in 2009 with the hope of building a better life for her family. Seven months later, the entire family was able to join her permanently.

Both Anthony and his daughter Marla found employment at Maple Leaf Foods, where they eventually joined the Capital Maintenance and Environment Team. This led them toward electrical apprenticeship at Assiniboine.

Maple Leaf Foods was facing some challenges in hiring electricians to work in their food processing facility in Brandon, which prompted them to create an internal electrical department. The company decided to send their existing employees who were interested in pursuing a career as an electrician to Assiniboine to obtain their journeyman certification. It was the perfect opportunity for Anthony and Marla, who were both eager to learn and grow in their careers.

“I am grateful my dad encouraged me to apply to become an electrician. He knew I had my sights set on one of the job postings from a few years ago when Maple Leaf was looking for female electricians, so I applied as an apprentice,” said Marla. “I started in the barns to get experience as an electrician, and after one year, I started as an apprentice and started working towards my Journeyman ticket.”

Working through their final apprenticeship year together has been a blessing for both Anthony and Marla. For Marla, it has meant more time with her father, who was an Electronics Technician in his home country, and has been a source of inspiration and guidance for her. For Anthony, having Marla by his side in their last in-class session has made a significant difference in his success.

The language barrier presented a challenge for Anthony in previous levels, having to repeat his 2nd and 4th levels, but Marla's fluency in English has helped him overcome this obstacle and understand the coursework, lectures, and building code more efficiently. He credits Marla for being patient with him and helping him stay motivated during the challenging times.

"Having Marla by my side has made a big difference. She understands my struggles and is always there to support me," said Anthony. “She has been able to work through translating the information, and relating it to things we are familiar with.”

For Marla, the experience of working and going to school alongside her father has been equally rewarding. She feels proud of Anthony's progress and has enjoyed the opportunity to translate the classwork to Anthony to help him complete his apprenticeship.

They both noted the hands-on learning experiences provided by Assiniboine have really helped them to apply the knowledge learned in the classroom in a practical way. When they are working, they don’t necessarily get to do everything in the scope of their jobs because of their level of education and experience.

“Having the opportunity to actually apply the skills we are learning in the classroom has greatly increased our confidence in doing our jobs, and connect some dots back to what we do in our workplace to make what we’re learning relatable,” said Marla. “The ‘learn by doing’ aspect of our education has been the most memorable for both of us.”

Anthony and Marla have completed their final in-class session as Level 4 apprentices and are waiting on their final test results. They look forward to returning to work at Maple Leaf Foods and are grateful for the opportunities the company has given them.

“The training and support we have received through Maple Leaf to further our education and careers has been great for us, and helped us really set down roots in Canada,” said Marla. “Being able to work with my dad, and further our education and careers together has been very special, and we are both so thankful for the opportunity.”