Becoming a mechanic is a goal Shaymus Nole has held since the age of six, watching his dad (who also works with TNDC) work on vehicles. Within a few years, he was repairing discarded bicycles from the garbage dump. By the age of 13, his focus turned to small recreation vehicles, beginning with quads he found at the dump, drawing on knowledge gained watching YouTube videos and examining operating machines. Word of his repairs spread in the community and people began giving him 3 wheels, quads and snowmobiles, which he then kept, sold or traded.

Today at the age of 17, Shaymus is building on those skills and turning his goal to be a heavy duty mechanic into reality. He’s working as a summer student at TNDC’s Dease Lake Mechanical Shop as a Labourer, which is also providing the opportunity to work on heavy equipment.

Shaymus Nole, TNDC Summer Student and aspiring Heavy Duty Mechanic with one of the pieces of heavy equipment he has been working on.

In addition to assisting the team with yard and shop clean up, tire changes and mechanical work, Shaymus has been repairing excavators and dozers. He previously spent a year working at a local automotive shop changing oil and repairing trucks, cars and snow mobiles, but finds heavy equipment much more interesting. Working under the direction of seasoned TNDC Heavy Duty Mechanic Gerry Lavergne, whose career spans almost five decades, is valuable for Shaymus in his journey to become a certified Red Seal Heavy Duty Mechanic. 

“I’m really enjoying working in the TNDC Shop, getting to work on different pieces of heavy equipment and learning every day. Working with Gerry is good because he explains how to do things safely and correctly. He has a lot of knowledge to teach me and I’m looking forward to working on other pieces of equipment. I know my future is in heavy duty mechanics and see myself working long-term in a shop. I have been told from the local college that I could obtain my Red Seal by the time I am 22 or 23 if I stay focussed,” says Shaymus.

Shaymus Nole works on a piece of heavy equipment

Gerry has trained more than 16 apprentice mechanics throughout his career and sees Shaymus’ potential. “Shaymus is observant, open to learning and actively asks questions – important qualities needed to learn this trade. The fundamentals of everything needed to know to be a mechanic is extensive. You continuously learn as you go with each repair, rebuild and replacement on each piece of equipment. This hands-on work is an important supplement to what Shaymus will learn in the classroom,” Gerry says.

Although Shaymus will return to his final year of high school in September, he will continue working part-time with TNDC after school, remaining committed to his goal. He is exploring Heavy Duty Equipment Technician Programs at Northern BC post secondary institutions. A Heavy Duty Equipment Technician trainee must complete a four-year program including workplace and in-school hours of training. Shaymus wants to complete the workplace training and apprenticeship in Tahltan Territory with TNDC. This is good news for TNDC.

Shaymus Nole (front right) watches as Red Seal Heavy Duty Mechanics Gerry Lavergne (back left) & Bryce Cassidy (back right) repair heavy equipment.

“TNDC’s future lies in the next generation of Tahltans. Providing on-the-job training, mentorship and experience is vital in developing the talent we need for today and tomorrow. It also supports the reason TNDC was created 38 years ago by visionary Tahltan leaders – to create jobs, training and contract opportunities for Tahltan members in territory,” says Carol Danielson, Chair of the TNDC Board of Directors.


<< View All News