Calluna Zimmerman: The challenges of finding the first step to a construction career


GTA Construction Report staff writer

Calluna Zimmerman is part of the next generation seeking careers in the construction industry. This graduate of two Niagara College construction related programs is educated, motivated, and involved. She is also struggling with the challenge of finding work.

As a child, Zimmerman says she was always interested in figuring out how things worked, how they went together. “I was always taking things apart to put them back together.”

Unsure of what to do with her future, she says she completed a career assessment, in the end choosing two construction related programs because she believed the broad base each offered would provide her the greatest range of options.

She says both programs were challenging, for their intensity and because she was one of very few women enrolled. “At the start there were a few but many people dropped out along the way because the workload was heavy and course intense. In the end I was one of three women who remained.”

Zimmerman graduated from both the Civil Engineering Technician program and the Construction Engineering Technology programs. However, despite her education, she says she is finding it difficult to find employment because she lacks the work experience employers are seeking.

In the meantime, while she looks for opportunities to gain specific experience, she is finding ways to network. Zimmerman is an active volunteer with the Niagara Construction Association. She also attends association events, including young leaders’ programs, hoping to build the knowledge and connections that may help her secure employment in the industry of her choice. “It’s tough. This is what I want to do. I have the education. I just have to find someone who is willing to give me the chance to show what I can do.”


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