April 11, 2017
Most of us have a difficult enough time managing one job and a home life. However, some of us go above and beyond with our involvement in our career and community and Cody Oschefski is one of those people. He is the Senior Electrician at TRW Canada Limited, Vice President and Skilled Trades Rep for Unifor local 1411 and a town councillor in Midland, Ontario.
Cody had originally planned to go into mathematics and education but after being offered an electrical apprenticeship while working to save for university he fell in love with the challenges of such a progressive industry. Cody acquired his electricians license in 2009 at the age of 22.
TRW has been manufacturing automotive parts since the 1950’s and Cody often gets the opportunity to refurbish outdated manufacturing equipment. He takes pride in his work and loves that he gets to specialize in bringing old machinery back to life. He starts by returning the equipment to OEM standards before advancing their capabilities with modern technology, including safety features, automation, and system integration. He can’t help but smirk as he recalls how some of the machines he brings back to life still had copper piping running around them that would short out the machine if touched by a person. He now ensures all machines are equipped with the latest safety measures.
When asked about the automation systems he works on he directs the conversation to the rise of robotics and integration in the manufacturing industry. Cody oversees all system upgrades and maintenance to the automated systems utilized at TRW. He relates how important it is to keep up on training and the evolution of technology, a point he stresses often to his apprentice. He detailed how important it is to keep learning, and notes that he also learns from his apprentice as education about automation and system integration in school is focused on more than ever before. And he can’t help but note that all new electricians should devote a good portion of their time to learning about PLC’s as they are a major part of the industry and many electricians aren’t as well versed in this as they should be.
In his role as VP and Skilled Trades Rep at Unifor Cody talks about the community driven philosophy of Unifor and the benefits they offer to protect workers’ rights.
He specializes in working with disciplinary cases, representing the workers and providing them with advice and when necessary acting as a mediator. Cody has trained in collective bargaining, conflict resolution, and grievance handling to ensure he is equipped to handle all cases. He clearly enjoys his role as a local union rep, and his position as a senior electrician provides him with a unique insight into issues facing worker’s that he regularly works alongside.
As a town councillor Cody feels that his position as an electrician and VP at Unifor has well placed him to work to the benefit of the local community. Cody is tireless and regularly gets his hands dirty for himself during the day and for his community in the evening. He is involved in numerous community events, so much so that after our interview he was off to a work at the local mayor’s dinner.
In conclusion Cody is the full package. He is an industrial electrician with an eye on the future of the industry, A VP at Unifor with the goal of protecting local workers like himself, and a town councillor working to drive Midland toward bigger and better things.
By: Owen Hurst