Women of Steel™: Forging Forward Program comes to Okanagan in partnership with Okanagan College and CWB Welding Foundation

By College Relations | January 16, 2023

A welder in a previous Women of Steel program.
A past participant in a Women of Steel program.

Okanagan College is launching a new program designed specifically to encourage women to consider a career in welding this winter/spring.

The Women of Steel™: Forging Forward Program, supported by the CWB Welding Foundation, is being offered in just 14 locations across Canada.

As one of the host sites, students who choose OC will not only gain skills related to welding, but will also have opportunities that foster education, personal growth, confidence, and experiential learning.  

“We continue to look for new opportunities that will support students to gain the skills they need now, helping them get good jobs in industries where communities need them,” says Dr. Neil Fassina, president, Okanagan College. “This partnership with the CWB Welding Foundation will help connect women with career opportunities and support our vision of transforming lives and communities. Skilled trades professionals are critical to the ongoing health and growth of our economy in this region and across the province.”

With many skilled trades professionals retiring locally and across the country, there are many opportunities for a career in the industry. Welding and welding fabrication provide a gateway to skilled trades and other related professions.

This pre-employment program is tuition-free and includes practical theory, hands-on welding training, and skills development in a safe and supportive environment, with a schedule designed to help students balance their school land personal lives. Short training periods will be used to train the participants in several welding processes, with the ability to obtain multiple CWB welding qualifications in various positions with multiple processes making graduates ready for apprenticeship, post-secondary, and employment.

The program will run March 27 and runs for 12 weeks, with in-person training provided at Okanagan College’s Penticton campus.

All those who identify as a woman and/or non-binary, including those from racialized or marginalized groups such as Indigenous, Black, newcomers, LGBTQ2S, women with disabilities, or with a prolonged detachment from the labour force are encouraged to apply.

To apply for the program e-mail program administrator Warren Edis at wedis@okanagan.bc.ca.

About the CWB Welding Foundation

The CWB Welding Foundation is a national registered charity that relies on the support of industry and community organizations to address the welding skilled trade shortage in Canada. Through education-based programs and initiatives, we continue to reduce barriers that affect key groups; elementary, secondary, and post-secondary students and educators, Indigenous People, women, and the underrepresented. We envision a future where all individuals are encouraged and provided the support needed to reach their true potential in a career in welding regardless of identity factors, social and financial status, and lived experiences including gender, age, ethnicity, language, literacy, culture, income, and geographical location.

The Women of Steel™: Forging Forward project is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Adult Learning Literacy and Essential Skills - Women Employment Readiness Program.

Tags: Women in Trades Training



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