Skip to Content
View site list


Pre-Bid Projects

Pre-Bid Projects

Click here to see Canada’s most comprehensive listing of projects in conceptual and planning stages


Made in the Trades: McMillan launches new brand to engage corporate audiences

Angela Gismondi
Made in the Trades: McMillan launches new brand to engage corporate audiences
SCREENSHOT - Jamie McMillan recently launched a new website and brand called Made in the Trades which is geared towards a corporate audience.

Jamie McMillan has it made it in the trades.

The longtime trades advocate and founder of KickAss Careers recently launched a new website, a new logo and a new brand: Made in the Trades.

“The trades have significantly changed my life in so many ways,” McMillan explained, adding she got the idea from the saying “made in the shade.”

“I have it made financially, it’s offered me a sustainable life, great pension, great benefits, but it’s also opened my life up to extraordinary opportunities to work, to travel, to meet so many new people, to get involved in so many different efforts.

“When I say, ‘made in the trades’ I just mean it’s completely made my life a lot better.”

After 16 years of promoting skilled trade pathways to youth and being recognized as an expert in the space, she is now looking to branch out and also engage corporate audiences.

“With an increasing need to fill the labour shortage gap, industry is reaching out to me to provide speaking engagements and workshops to educate them on how to recruit younger generations, expanding my reach from youth to adult audiences,” said McMillan.

“There is a lot of work that needs to be done to break down the negative stigma and redefine the reputation of this industry.” 

Speaking topics include empowerment, workplace innovation and career pathways. The presentations are Smiling In The Face Of Adversity; Living A Life Of Passion And Purpose; The Workplace Detox: Build It And They Will Come; Talk Tools In Schools: Recruiting Tomorrow’s Workforce Today; and Kickass Careers — 1/3 of Your Life is Work: Find a Career You Love.

She is most excited about the keynote presentation called The Workplace Detox.

“Unfortunately, there is a lot of toxic behaviours and attitudes in this space,” McMillan stated.

“This will be a difficult subject as I will be speaking about my own personal and professional experiences, but also the experiences of others who have allowed me to share how they too have been negatively impacted by difficult personality styles and uncomfortable situations in the workplace.” 

It is intended to be a wake-up call and a call to action.

“Although the overall tone will be an uplifting and motivational, my hope is that it makes industry leaders really do a deep dive to recognize the chaos toxic people are creating in their workplaces, hold them accountable and change the workplace culture to a positive, welcoming environment for everyone,” McMillan said.

“It’s time to change the ‘bad boy’ reputation of the building and construction industry to establish a safe, happy and ethical workplace where everyone feels appreciated and validated, otherwise we will continue to experience increasing labour shortages.” 

Over the years McMillan has participated on many advisory boards and committees and recognized there is a disconnect between white collar professionals and boots-on-the-ground workers.

“Upper management are often unaware or turn a blind eye to the bad behaviours and unfortunate dynamics taking place on the jobsites and back corners of the shop floors,” McMillan explained. “The impact is raining havoc on the mental health and well-being of our workforce.” 

She wants to challenge people to understand what is going on in the workplace.

“As skilled trades professionals many of us, especially underrepresented and marginalized groups, often walk on eggshells to maintain a steady paycheque,” McMillan said.

“We learn early on to pick and choose our battles with antagonistic co-workers and bosses. It’s hard for me to talk about, but many of us compare our career to a toxic relationship, we love the work so much that we keep going back regardless of the minimization and invalidation we experience, sometimes daily. It’s a vicious cycle of abuse that is exhausting and disheartening.”

But people are beginning to speak up and collectively can make a difference, she said.

“As long as I have a voice, I will continue to use it to share my story and amplify the voices of others. It’s time for positive change.”

For more information about Made in the Trades click here.

Follow the author on Twitter @DCN_Angela

Recent Comments

comments for this post are closed

You might also like