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Sep
2016
23

“Our motivation in this partnership is quite simple. We see tremendous value in the diversification of our workforce.”

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In Alberta, Canada, a job creation partnership between Women Building Futures (WBF), North West Redwater Partnership (NWR), and the Alberta Carpenters Training Centre is putting women to work in the trades. Seven carpenter-slash-scaffolder apprentices who graduated from the WBF program began work at the NWR Sturgeon Refinery in August:

These skilled women have joined a team at the Sturgeon Refinery focused on building Alberta’s energy diversification future, by adding value to Alberta’s raw materials, managing CO2 and increasing access to world markets using existing infrastructure.

“Our graduates come to employers with unrivalled preparedness for the realities of the job site,” says JudyLynn Archer, CEO, Women Building Futures. “NWR values that, and we’re proud to have their support in getting more women started in a career they can be excited about.”

For their part, NWR saw value in a more diverse workforce. The company covered tuition for the training program in addition to hiring apprentices to work at the refinery:

“Our motivation in this partnership is quite simple. We see tremendous value in the diversification of our workforce, and we want to create opportunities to support these talented and dedicated women as they pursue a career in the trades,” says Ian MacGregor, President and Chairman, North West Refining Inc., a 50 per cent owner in NWR.

The program began recruiting in 2015 with support from Albert’s Labour Departmemt:

“Our government is proud to work with the North West Redwater Partnership and Women Building Futures to encourage women to upgrade their skills and train for careers in the skilled trades,” said Alberta Labour Minister Christina Gray. “This graduating class of talented apprentices demonstrates our collective efforts in helping open doors for women in the trades. By supporting women, we are building a stronger, more prosperous province.”

The U.S. government, too, has experienced a renewed understanding of the value of apprenticeship in recent years. Since being appointed to his position as Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez has overseen more than $100 million of apprenticeship grants.

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