Meet the Heat and Frost Insulators

Geneviève Dallaire, Journeyperson(Québec)

It didn't take much for Geneviève Dallaire to know that the heat and frost insulator trade was for her. After graduating from high school in Lac-St-Jean, Quebec, Geneviève wasn't sure what career she wanted to pursue. But she'd always held down physical jobs, and couldn't see herself working behind a desk.

After a few months of unemployment, Geneviève began looking into careers in the skilled trades. When she heard about heat and frost insulation, the trade appealed to her right away. "I liked the fact that it was hands-on, and that I could work both outdoors and indoors," she says. So Geneviève enrolled in Quebec's provincial heat and frost insulator apprenticeship program. She attended in-class technical training at Montreal's école des Métiers de la Construction, and carried out her practical training at Thermopro Inc. and Isolation Val-Mers Ltée, two industrial heat and frost insulation companies in Quebec.

Now 28, Geneviève has completed her apprenticeship and works as a journeyperson for Isolation Val-Mers Ltée at their L'Assomption, Quebec location. And she still loves her work as much as she thought she would when she first heard about the trade. "It's always different," she says. "You're always learning something new, and you're always meeting new people… The people I work with are fun to be around and they love their job."

In fact, that team dynamic has come to be what Geneviève loves most about the trade. One of her fondest on-the-job memories is of insulating the Interquisa Canada petrochemical plant in Montreal. The large project involved collaborating with "a lot of workers from a variety of trades," Geneviève recalls. "There were around 1000 people."

Geneviève hopes that other young people will consider the heat and frost insulator trade, and figure out if the job is as right for them as it has been for her. "You have to like working with your hands and you have to be a fast learner," she says. And, she adds, "You have to love teamwork."