Building Trades with Bombardier

NCTCs new Building Trades teacher Danielle Bombardier

NCTC’s new Building Trades teacher Danielle Bombardier

Adelyne Collin, Editor

The Building Trades program at Northwest Career & Technical Center (NCTC) is thriving with high enrollment and the addition of a new instructor, Danielle Bombardier.  According to NCTC Building Trades teacher Mark Capsey, for the 2021-22 school year, over 100 students are registered for this half-day course, the highest annual enrollment the program has ever seen. This prompted the need for an additional instructor and an opportunity to expand the program’s curriculum—in an era where the need for skilled tradespeople in the workforce has never been greater. 

“Danielle is bringing her expertise to our Building Trades program and expanding upon content that was not a traditional focus area for the course,” Leeann Wright, Director of NCTC, said. “We hope that this new focus on electrical work will generate more interest in the program for students.” 

Building Trades has typically focused on construction—having embedded themselves in many large projects throughout our region. Students interested in exploring niche trades like HVAC, plumbing or electrical would traditionally set up a job shadow or cooperative internship with a tradesperson via NCTC’s Work Based Learning Coordinator Robert Thayer. For those interested in electrical basics, the content is now embedded in the curriculum, while cooperative opportunities remain available. 

“We’re excited about the new electrical lab we’re building for the students, Bombardier said. “When it’s complete, we’ll be able to practice residential wiring—wiring devices back to an electrical panel. The curriculum will introduce students to basic wiring, conduit bending, conductors and cables, different devices in the industry, all of the tools, controls, and explore renewable energy and off-grid systems.” 

Bombardier comes to NCTC with experience at Vermont Works for Women, in a career working with solar and renewable energy and as a trade director for an electrical union’s apprenticeship program. 

“There’s a lot of money to be made if you want to get into these careers. There are not a lot of women in these jobs, and I think it’s important to have women teaching in a program like this. I hope that it will encourage other young women to explore the trades and what we have to offer,” Bombardier said. 

According to Mark Capsey, who has been teaching in the Building Trades program since 1996, “It’s nice to bring another trade focus into our program.” 

Capsey added, “Our program is already growing fast,” referencing the recent partnership with Bellows Free Academy for the Geometry in Construction course, which fast-tracks a student’s entry into the Building Trades program, delivers hands-on curriculum and provides the student with math credit that counts toward their high school graduation requirements. 

“With the addition of the electrical content, we’re hoping to draw even more interest so that we can continue to produce skilled tradespeople for future careers in our community and beyond,” Capsey said.