Conestoga news

July 14, 2006 2:39 PM

Award-Winning Program Will Move to Waterloo

In the fall of 2005, the Women in Skilled Trades (WIST) pre-apprenticeship program of Conestoga College was named outstanding technical co-operative education program by the prestigious Yves Landry Foundation, resulting in an award of $5,000 to the College.

Conestoga has applied that award towards preparation of its new trades-oriented campus in Waterloo, set to open this fall. One of the programs operating at the new site will be the WIST Pre-Apprenticeship Carpentry program, which is being moved from its present home at the campus in Guelph.

The 40-week, daytime program will admit a new group of students this September. The first 30 weeks of study is on-campus and involves trade-related theoretical knowledge and practical skills in carpentry; the final ten weeks entails a paid work placement in the industry.

Conestoga has been involved over the past several years in a number of WIST initiatives, not only in carpentry, but also in millwright, precision machining and tooling. The group that begins the carpentry program in Waterloo will be the third to do so at Conestoga.

Any women interested in learning more about WIST opportunities and admission processes can call Conestoga at 519-748-5220, ext. 3656. Conestoga has also scheduled a number of free information sessions about WIST.

Funded by the Ontario Women's Directorate through the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, WIST aims to address the shortage of skilled workers in the manufacturing and construction sectors by offering opportunities to unemployed or under-employed low-income women, who are unable to pursue options in the skilled trades because of lack of math skills, computer literacy and hands-on experience involving technical equipment.

The Yves Landry Foundation, which honoured the excellence displayed by WIST programs at Conestoga, was established in 1998 to celebrate the vision, principles and hopes of the late Yves Landry, who was Chairman, President and CEO of Chrysler Canada Ltd. from 1990-1998. The Foundation creates pathways for business, education and government to collectively be part of the solution in advancing technological education and skills training, in order to resolve the skilled labour shortages facing Canadian industries.

CONTACT: Abby Redman, 519-748-5220, ext. 2300,