Conestoga College will receive $256,655 in fiscal year 2006-2007 to provide continued opportunities for women to pursue education related to entering careers in the skilled trades. The funding comes via the Women in Skilled Trades program (WIST), administered by the Ontario Women’s Directorate. The funding will be used to deliver a general carpentry program.
The new funding was announced at Conestoga’s Guelph campus on April 26 by the Hon. Sandra Pupatello, Ontario’s Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues. The Conestoga allocation is part of a total of $1.5 million that will go towards WIST projects and initiatives throughout the province.
“The Women in Skilled Trades program gives women the opportunity to become economically independent and to contribute to Ontario’s economy,” she said.
Conestoga currently runs a WIST carpentry program at the Guelph campus. In the fall of 2006, however, Conestoga will relocate a number of trades programs, in fields such as carpentry and plumbing, to a new site in Waterloo that will provide larger facilities for a number of trades, hospitality, preparatory studies and continuing education activities in that city. As the result, a number of new trades programs in areas such as motive power and truck/transport servicing will be established at the Guelph location.
Conestoga has had an outstanding record of accomplishment in WIST programming over the past several years, and activities have included not only carpentry, but also precision machining and industrial electrician. In the fall of 2005, Conestoga received a $5,000 award from the Yves Landry Foundation in recognition of its WIST program being named by the Foundation as Ontario’s outstanding technical co-operative education program in the college sector.
At the April 26 event, Conestoga College President John Tibbits commented, “The government’s continuing support for the Women in Skilled Trades program is very welcome on two counts. First, it makes possible excellent opportunities and rewarding career choices for women in the skilled trades. Second, it calls attention to the importance of trades and apprenticeship education, and highlights the need to expand participation in this area.”
CONTACT: Leigh Ferguson, 519-824-9390, ext. 182