We’re a team of driven, passionate people looking to make positive change in the world. We take pride in the transformative change our connections bring to women, families and communities.
We are a non-profit organization based in Edmonton, Alberta. We offer programs and support services to help unemployed and underemployed women explore and connect to careers that pay above a living wage. Careers that not only support their own security but often that of their children.
We help remove common barriers to financial independence. These barriers include employment training, access to affordable housing, academic readiness, access to affordable childcare and more. Over the last 25 years, we’ve grown to become a trusted name in our focus industries for introductory training and inspiring more women to explore career opportunities in these areas.
To foster economic security for women facing barriers to entry in a workforce where they are traditionally underrepresented.
Integrity is built on respect and trust.
Health & Safety is everyone’s responsibility.
Courage empowers our ingenuity, innovation, and sustainable growth.
Compassion nurtures inclusion, teamwork and service to others.
Our 2022 – 2025 Strategy
We’re planning to grow our impact even more over the next 3 years. Read more about our strategy here.
We became registered as a non-profit society in 1998. At the time, we were just a small group – social workers mostly – who set out to fulfill a shared dream of helping women achieve economic security through construction trades training and mentorship.
While we were getting started, we borrowed a small space from the City of Edmonton and worked hard to secure small grants to run a series of 3-week classes of introductory carpentry training. These small classes provided women with the basic skills needed to begin working in an entry-level role on some local construction projects. Over the years, this program evolved to offer more introductory training in a handful of trades and as a result, the construction industry began to take notice.
In 2005, with the support of our partners, we purchased an old warehouse and retrofitted the building to become a training facility with workshops, classrooms, office space and affordable housing. We learned over the years that many women were not able to break the cycle of poverty without access to affordable housing which was why a housing facility was critical to supporting more women in the community.
Today, we’re proud to offer a variety of industry-relevant employment training programs in the construction trades, maintenance, driving, operating, supply chain industries and more. We also offer many support services for women such as coaching, readiness workshops and affordable housing. The women we support continue to inspire the work we do every day and we’re proud to share their stories of success.
We respectfully acknowledge that our main office and training centre are located on Treaty 6 territory, the traditional and ancestral territory of the Nehiyaw (Cree), Denesuliné (Dene), Niitsitapi (Blackfoot), Anishinaabe (Saulteaux) and Nakota Sioux (Stoney) peoples. We also acknowledge that we are located within the Otipemisiwak Métis Government’s North Saskatchewan River Territory, Fort Edmonton Métis District 9 of the Métis Nation of Alberta. These are the traditional gathering places for many diverse Indigenous Peoples whose histories, languages and cultures continue to influence our vibrant community.
We also gratefully acknowledge that many of our team members live and work on the traditional and ancestral homelands of hundreds of Indigenous Peoples and Nations across Turtle Island, each with their own unique traditions, history and culture.
We are committed to strong Indigenous partnerships and relationships based on principles of reconciliation.
Inclusivity at WBF
We’re building an inclusive culture that encourages, uplifts and celebrates the diversity of our employees and the communities we serve with compassion and courage.
Through our programs and services, we nurture a safe, respectful environment where everyone is able to do their best work and can learn and grow together. Our different backgrounds and experiences are our strengths.
We recognize that the term “women” may not include diverse identities of which our program is meant to support. We welcome and strive to create an inclusive environment for gender diverse individuals, which includes all women, non-binary and agender persons, through readiness services and assessment, training, job placement and job retention support.
Our mission is one of equity and we work to increase representation in industries where these groups have been historically underrepresented.
WBF is on a learning journey to support diversity, equity and inclusion, with diverse gender inclusion. Please reach out to talk more with us about our programs and services that address gendered barriers to employment.