Stacey Brown likes to bring ideas to life.

A recent alumna of the welding program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) Brown says it’s powerful to take a concept in your head or a diagram on paper and turn it into something tangible. Her background working in a shop environment as an automotive glass installer, and as a field inspector for an HVAC, roofing, and window company, combined with a desire for a hands-on career led her to the trades at KPU.

“KPU is very involved in the welding community. The facilities are great—there’s a wonderful shop that’s well lit, with proper equipment, and great staff.”

The 24-week welding foundation program is designed to give students skills and experience using a variety of welding procedures and processes. Foundation courses, including worksite safety and orientation, basic shielded metal arc welding, reading technical drawings, and more, equip students to safely weld ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

In addition to both foundation training and apprenticeships in welding, the Faculty of Trades and Technology offers hands-on training in carpentry, electrical, farriery, plumbing, piping, mechatronics, appliance servicing, and more.

Beyond learning to weld, Brown credits the program with giving her a wealth of other valuable skills.

“You learn more interpersonal skills because you have so many interactions with people from different backgrounds. You’re speaking to other students, and instructors, and possible employers. Every experience helps prepare you for the next.”

After completing the program earlier this year and receiving the dean’s award for outstanding achievement, Brown has her sights set on working in the growing trades sector. Her advice for those pondering a trade? See it for yourself.

“Go in and talk to one of the faculty and see the shop, talk to students, get a feel for things. There’s no harm in checking it out—it’s hard not to get excited when you see it all.”

To learn more about the welding program and Faculty of Trades and Technology or to apply visit

For more than 30 years, Kwantlen Polytechnic University has provided students with the skills they need for the careers they want. Why stop at theory, when you can also harness the power of experience? Launch your career and make a positive impact on your community with experiential learning at KPU: where thought meets action. To learn more about everything KPU has to offer, visit