MADE IN THE TRADES
Jamie McMillan is the founder and primary spokesperson of KickAss Careers. She is a Motivational Speaker, Journeyman Ironworker, Apprentice Boilermaker, Outreach Specialist, Author, Visionary and Advocate for Skilled Trades, Technology, Mental Health, Homelessness and Youth.
Jamie opened my eye to
the trades and I fell in love instantly. It helped solidify my future. In the fall I am going to school to become a Powerline Technician.
High School Graduate
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE JOURNEY
Jamie became an ironworker in 2002 when women only represented 2% of the workforce across Canada and the United States. She thoroughly understands the struggles and challenges of working a male dominated workforce and is on mission to break down the negative misconceptions and stereotypes.
Through KickAss Careers Jamies travels approximately 30 weeks a year providing engaging keynote presentations and workshops to more than 50,000 students, parents, educators and employers each year across North America. Her efforts have gained international notoriety for opening doors and minds to the possibilities of well-paid careers in skilled trades and technology sectors.
Over the years Jamie has received the Top 20 Under 40 Award for making an impact in the metal trades, the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program Champion Award and District School Board of Niagara Technology Education Partnership Award for her commitment to youth in schools across the province of Ontario.
In 2018 she received the Hamilton YWCA Women of Distinction Award for being a trailblazer excelling in her field promoting leadership and equal advancement opportunities. In 2019 Jamie was named a co-chair on a National Skilled Trades Advisory Committee to create a campaign to promote careers in skilled trades as first choice pathways to youth for the Canadian Federal Government by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Jamie continues to speak professionally across North America, works on various construction projects whenever possible and enjoys helping out at a homeless shelter for women.
In her free time she loves to hang out with family, friends, travel, climb mountains and hike with her tuxedo cat, 'Spud Wrench.'
PROMOS, INTERVIEWS & PODCASTS
RECRUITING TOMORROWS WORKFORCE TODAY
WHAT INDUSTRY IS SAYING
Through her organization - KickAss Careers- Jamie has established herself as a precedent- setting icon in the world of skilled-trades awareness and promotion, and is actively sought out for speaking engagements and presentations in both academic institutions as well as professional industry engagements...and this trajectory is rising rapidly.
Darryl Spector P. Eng., PMP, President,
I am proud to strongly endorse Jamie McMillan and KickAss Careers. Jamie’s dedication, energy and enthusiasm are contagious as she works to spread the message. In her years as a mentor to young people, she has shared her vision with teachers, students, government officials, businesses and union leaders. Her work has been truly inspirational.
Joseph Maloney – International Vice President – International Brotherhood of Boilermakers
Jamie has demonstrated dedication, reliability, accountability, initiative and a genuine interest in supporting the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program.
She has always been a well mannered, mature and a hard working individual. The OYAP Program and I feel very fortunate to have Jamie as a presenter thus allowing us to continuing to operate and implement the program
Leo Paone – HWCDSB OYAP Coordinator
WHAT STUDENTS ARE SAYING
The piece of information that I found most impressive was that Jamie was able to make an extremely successful life for herself despite the challenges she faced and late start to the workforce. I can use her experience to understand that careers in life are not always linear and everyone’s journey is different. In the end what matters is that you are enjoying what you do and can support yourself to live a happy and healthy life.
I will use this new information in my day-to-day life by making sure that I am never selling myself short and always applying myself and trying my hardest for everything. I will also always give my all and step up to the plate to do what needs to be done rather than leaving the job for other people.
What impressed me most about this presentation was Jamie’s attitude towards being a woman in the skilled trades. She demonstrates how powerful it is to be self-sufficient, particularly when others do not believe that you have what it takes to excel because of your gender. I was also impressed by the way she speaks of her ADHD and how she turns it into a strength. Jamie inspires me to continue to work hard and not let negativity affect me.
You don't have to do something right when you get out of school and you can take the time to figure out what you like. You spend 1/3 of your life working, so you should take the time, explore your options, and find out what you like to do so that you can love your job and love your life. When you’re in high school, everything can feel rushed and that you have to make major life decisions when you’re done, and you’re scared to make the wrong decision. It’s okay to take your time to figure out what you love.