Meet the Heat and Frost Insulators

Chuck Rudder, Business Manager(Saskatchewan)

Growing up in Regina, Saskatchewan, Chuck Rudder learned the value of hard work from an early age. His father was a heat and frost insulator and entrepreneur; he worked as a tradesperson and ran his own insulation business. Inspired by his father's success, Chuck followed in his footsteps and was soon working in the family business in his spare time. "I worked [for my father] at 15 when I was still in school—on semester break, weekends and in the summer," Chuck says proudly. A few years later, Chuck began working full-time as a heat and frost insulator.

Now 47, Chuck has been in the industry for over 30 years. When he started out, there wasn't a formal apprenticeship program available in Saskatchewan. Chuck learned the trade on the job, and took a certificate exam to become a heat and frost insulator in the late nineties—the first chance he got. Learning on the job was a rewarding experience, he says, but he would have liked to have had the opportunity to learn through a formal training program.

So when Chuck was elected Business Manager of the local office of his labour organization in 2003, he jumped at the chance to be part of the new apprenticeship program that was just getting started in Saskatchewan. As Business Manager, Chuck is responsible for staffing industrial and commercial construction projects across Saskatchewan. It's up to him to ensure that there are enough heat and frost insulators available. And he encourages all new workers to "go through the apprenticeship system. Get your ticket." This, he says, is the best way to learn the necessary skills of a heat and frost insulator.

Chuck has worked hard all his life. But he's quick to point out that the trade isn't only about hard work. "The travel is good, the wages and benefits are good… and if you need some time off to go fishing or hunting or anything, you can usually take some leave. You aren't tied down."