Instructor Highlights - Why Richard Loves the Skilled Trades!

Sep 10, 2018

Richard Santamaria had been working in the Tool & Die industry for years before he started teaching The Centre’s Millwright & Machinist program, with over 23 years of experience under his belt.

“My father was a Tool & Die Maker. He ran his own shop and I worked with him, completing my apprenticeship with his training,” says Richard. “So from a young age I had a passion for creating custom tooling, and being able to make things.”

Tool & Die Makers are a class of machinists in the industrial sector who make jigs, fixtures, dies molds, machine tools, cutting tools, gauges and other tools used in the manufacturing processes. 

“Working with my hands to create and build is why I love my job. I’ve always been excited to come to work every day, which is not something you always hear people say about their job,” says Richard. “I always wanted to pass this training on to young people as my father did for me, watching my students succeed and thrive after they receive their training is  tremendous reward for me.”

The demand for Tool & Die Makers is ever growing, with the average worker making over $25 per hour, with higher earning potential for those with strong troubleshooting skills and industry experience. (Department of Employment and Social Development Canada,

Richard knows with The Centre’s Millwright & Machinist program, Tool & Die Maker is just one of many career opportunities his students can explore. Like many other careers in the sector, growth and retirements are expected to create new employment opportunities within the trade. 

“This program puts an emphasis on key fundamental skills required to succeed in the workplace.  With the employment placement at the end of the program, students have every opportunity to do well. This is an industry where you can make a good living, and if you enjoy working with your hands like me, will enjoy going to work every day.”

To learn more about The Centre’s Millwright & Machinist program, visit: