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Harper Government Support Opens Doors for Women in Skilled Trades

by pmnationtalk on January 23, 2015994 Views

January 22, 2015 – Edmonton, Alberta – Western Economic Diversification Canada

Today, the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced an investment of $996,942 to enable Women Building Futures (WBF) to provide women with increased access to skilled labour training in the construction industry.

Funding will support the WBF #4ME project, which uses a technology-based system to increase their capacity to reach, attract, train and retain women in skilled trades. In addition to creating an online presence for WBF’s #4ME awareness campaign, and moving assessment tools, curriculum, and coaching online, this project will also develop a series of short courses that will be delivered via video conference, online and on-site for rural and Aboriginal women.

This project, which is also receiving support from the Government of Alberta, Imperial Oil Foundation, the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) and Shell Canada, is an innovative way to meet changing educational expectations while increasing women’s opportunities in the construction trades.

Quick Facts

  • Established in 1998, Women Building Futures is a leader in trades training for women, with extensive experience recruiting women into the heavy industrial workforce at a consistent employment placement rate of 90 per cent.
  • Over the next three years, it is anticipated that up to 24,000 women will have access to the #4ME Program. In addition, up to 30 Aboriginal communities will have access to training.
  • This initiative is expected to train over 3,000 students online; as well as place over 900 certified graduates in jobs by the end of 2017.


“Our Government is committed to creating opportunities for women to pursue careers in non-traditional trades like construction, welding and machining. By improving access to skilled labour training, we are ensuring tradeswomen are getting the skills and experience they need to secure quality jobs and a prosperous future.”

– The Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification

“Women Building Futures is excited to be moving forward with its vision to reach any woman anywhere who is interested in a career in the trades. With support from the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta, Imperial Oil Foundation, CLAC and Shell, the #4ME project will enable us to do exactly that.”

– Judy Lynn Archer, President and CEO of Women Building Futures

“The Government of Alberta is proud to partner with Women Building Futures to help tradeswomen participate more fully in the labour market and succeed in our economy. This project is an excellent example of strong relationships among government, industry, employers, and training providers, ensuring Alberta has workers with the right skills in the right place at the right time.”

– The Honourable Ric McIver, Minister of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour

“Imperial sees support for Women Building Futures as an investment in the company’s future and in the lives of women who will benefit from the program. A skilled workforce is critical to developing the energy industry to its full potential, and Women Building Futures has demonstrated continued success in developing and empowering women in the workforce.”

– Tom Huffaker, President, Imperial Oil Foundation

WBF continues to be a proactive and innovative organization that identifies needs within industry and communities. The #4ME project is just one more example of how they meet those needs and why this organization is relevant, successful and a leader in their field. WBF graduates are a valuable addition to the construction workforce and CLAC continues to be a proud partner of this exciting organization.”

– Ryan Timmermans, Regional Director,

“Creating opportunities for women in the workforce is something I am passionate about personally and professionally so I take great pride in Shell’s history of working with Women Building Futures. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the staff at WBF, the $400,000 Shell has invested in the organization since 2008 has gone a long way towards helping women build better lives.”

– Lorraine Mitchelmore, Country Chair, Shell Canada

Additional Links


Emily Goucher
Office of the Minister
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Telephone: 613-954-8097

Judy Lynn Archer
President and Chief Executive Officer
Women Building Futures
Telephone: 780-452-1200

Joseph Dow
Office of the Minister
Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour
Government of Alberta
Telephone: 587-991-4024

Pius Rolheiser
Public & Government Affairs
Telephone: 403-237-2710

Ryan Timmermans
Regional Director
Telephone: 780-974-2584

Cameron Yost
Shell Canada
Telephone: 1-877-850-5023

WD Toll-Free Number: 1-888-338-WEST (9378)
Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-877-303-3388
Website: WD is online at
Subscribe to news releases and keep up-to-date on the latest from WD. Follow us on Twitter at @WD_Canada.


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