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B.C.’s first female carpenter to speak at TRADE UP! 2013 Conference at Okanagan College
Okanagan College Media Release

Journeywoman Book Front CoverA Red Seal carpenter who broke down the barrier for women entering the trades in B.C. will be the keynote speaker at the TRADE UP! Women in Trades 2013 Conference on Saturday, July 6 at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus.

Kate Braid started work in construction in the 1970s and then spent 15 years building houses, high rises and bridges. An award-winning poet with multiple titles to her name, Braid wrote about her experiences in her 2012 memoir Journeywoman: Swinging a Hammer in a Man’s World.

“Kate is a pioneer in this industry and has become an inspiration for so many women,” said Nancy Darling, Administrator for the Women in Trades program at Okanagan College and organizer of the conference.

“Kate did much more than earn her Red Seal – she has influenced a generation of trades people. As the first woman to become a full-time Carpentry instructor at BCIT, she’s a perfect example of what’s possible,” Darling said.

Braid’s keynote address is just part oBraid June 2013f the free full-day conference, which features a variety of interactive professional development workshops including blueprint reading, working in camps, entrepreneurship, a look at WorkSafeBC’s new apprenticeship portals and free training opportunities, plus electrical safety training for trades workers.

Participants will also have a chance to try the College’s Virtual Collision Repair Paint Simulator, or try their hand at virtual mig welding using the College’s Welding Simulator.

“We’ve designed this conference to give women interested in entering the trades – and those who have years of experience – a chance to connect, learn more, and appreciate what can be accomplished today,” Darling said.

Anyone interested in attending the conference can register at www.okanagan.bc.ca/wtti. There is no cost to participate.

The conference is sponsored by WorkSafeBC, ITA (Industry Training Authority), BC Hydro, FortisBC, Robertson's Clothing & Shoes, Community Futures Development Corporation of the Central Okanagan, Women in Trades Training Initiative, and Solo GI Nutrition.