It’s not too late to trade up—from apprentice to CEO

Are you an apprentice with plans to build an empire? Or do you just get that combining a trade and some business know-how is a smart way to build a strong future? If yes, it’s not too late to sign up for next week’s intake of  Apprentice to CEO: Entrepreneurial skills for the trades—a new BCIT course that shows students how to build and maintain a successful trades business.

“What sets this course apart from most ‘start your own business’ courses is the strong emphasis on how to set up an operating system for the trades,” says Wayne Hand, Dean, School of Construction and the Environment.

Among the relevant skills students learn are invoicing, job tracking, estimating, finances, and safety. They also learn how to do market research and how to implement a marketing plan.

The skills will be taught by someone who knows what he’s talking about. Chad Flinn is an electrician who has owned three electrical contracting companies during a career that’s spanned two decades. He even blogs about the trade at Chad has also been teaching full-time at BCIT since 2009.

“Teaching is beyond just a job for me,” he says. “It is a passion. I feel so privileged to be able to share my years of experience as a trades contractor with those starting out building a business of their own.  The practical aspects of this course and its hands-on work sets this course apart from others. By the time you have completed the course you will have a solid business plan, an operational system and a marketing strategy to make your new venture a success. If you’re not careful you might actually find yourself having fun while you learn”

The course is part of the existing Coast Capital Savings Entrepreneurship Skills for Trades and Technology Program at BCIT. It’s open to apprentices, tradespeople, and journeymen. The next intake runs from September 14th through November 30th. You can register online or call 604-434-1610. If you’ve got questions for the instructor, Chad Flinn, you can email him directly, too. He’s that kind of guy. (

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