Conestoga news

November 13, 2012 3:29 PM

In the news: Carpentry programs for women

The Globe and Mail has a story about skilled trades programs that prepare women for new careers through an initiative called Women in Skilled Trades, funded by the Ontario Women’s Directorate.

It focuses on Sandy Law, who had finished a 20-year career managing a pizza shop in Milton, Ontario and was working in security when she decided to enrol in the pre-apprenticeship carpenter general certificate program at Conestoga’s Waterloo campus.

Brenda Gilmore, program manager for Conestoga’s School of Trades and Apprenticeship, points out that the program is “life-changing for many women… taking them out of poverty, and [many] have had a very vibrant career.”

In the Conestoga carpentry program, women get a chance to try a range of skills, from using power tools to blueprint interpretations. And because many teachers are female tradespersons, students get the added bonus of life-long mentors.

Upon completion, Conestoga has an 80-per-cent success rate in related employment. Women may choose to become carpentry apprentices, start their own companies or go back to school for more training.

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