Women's Program Funding in Action
Women Building Futures

Edmonton, Alberta

Expanding the Women Building Futures Model to Western Canada: Increasing the Number of Women Working in Non-Traditional Trades in Edmonton

Women and Man working in construction

An innovative project in Edmonton has succeeded in increasing the participation of women in skilled professional trades and technical professions in Western Canada. Women Building Futures (WBF), a leader in trades training for women, piloted an expansion of their existing model by forming new partnerships with training providers, provincial apprenticeship authorities, employers and employer organizations in Alberta and Saskatchewan, as well as in British Columbia, Manitoba and Northwest Territories. The three-year, multi-faceted project also received support from federal and provincial/territorial governments, Aboriginal organizations and numerous educational institutions. During the project, over 8,000 women contacted the organization for information or advice on entering a career in construction; over 3,900 women – including 1,400 Aboriginal women – participated in the WBF Career Assessment Program; 279 women – including 56 Aboriginal women – were trained; and more than 170 employers signed on to hire the graduates. The employment placement success rate was a consistent 96% and the average increase in annual income on day of hire was 85% (it is now 127%). WBF’s Best Practices for Hiring and Retaining Tradeswomen program is endorsed by industry.

“This project moved the needle on women’s awareness of career opportunities in construction and also on employer hiring confidence”

JudyLynn Archer, President and CEO
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