Meet the Heat and Frost Insulators

Chantel Iceton, Apprentie(Alberta)

When Chantel Iceton was looking to change careers from a hairstylist to something more physical, she had to look no farther than her own family. Her father had been a journeyperson heat and frost insulator for nearly three decades. Inspired by his successful career, Chantel enrolled in a heat and frost insulator apprenticeship program. "My dad helped me get into (heat and frost insulation)," she says. "We were actually working together on the first few jobs I had as an insulator through the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers, Local 110."

Since that time, Chantel has certainly done her father proud. On the advice of Paul Blinzer, her training instructor at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), Chantel entered the 2005 Provincial Skills Canada Competition in Alberta. She finished second in the heat and frost insulator category, just two points behind the winner. Now 22 years old and in her second year of apprenticeship, Chantel is continuing her in-class training at NAIT. She's fulfilling her on-the-job training at the Industrial Company Module yards in Edmonton, insulating pipelines for the Canadian Natural Resources Limited oil and gas project.

Chantel enjoys the physical nature of her job and the fact that she's constantly learning new skills. But ask her what she loves most about the trade, and she says it's the people she meets. Since starting out working side by side with her father, Chantel's on-the-job family has only grown. "You're pretty much like somebody's sister or daughter," she says. "(Other heat and frost insulators) look out for you, show you the little tricks of the trade." And if Chantel has her way, she'll soon have many more sisters in her extended family. "I'm trying to do everything I can to promote (the trade) and let people know (it's an option), so that women know they can do this."