Our history

For a quarter century, Women Building Futures has given women the tools to break barriers.  


Our founding

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 (Alberta) and worked hard to secure small grants to run introductory carpentry training programs. These small classes provided women with the basic skills needed to begin working in an entry-level role on some local construction projects.

We saw women could do more. Over the years, we changed the program to offer more introductory training in a handful of trades and as a result, the construction industry began to take notice.

We learned over the years that many women were not able to break the cycle of poverty without access to safe and affordable housing, which was why a housing facility was critical to supporting more women in the community.

In 2005, with the support of our partners, we purchased and retrofitted an old warehouse to become a training facility with workshops, classrooms, office space and affordable housing.

Today, we’re proud to offer a variety of free support services and industry-relevant employment training programs in the construction trades, trucking and related fields.

We have expanded to offer skills training and support services in other regions in Alberta, including Calgary, Fort McMurray and Grande Prairie, and to Saskatoon and Regina in Saskatchewan and Sarnia, Ontario.

Over 25 years, nearly 3,000 women have graduated from our programs, opening their lives to new careers and new possibilities.

Working with our partners to lead positive change in the workplace

At Women Building Futures, we do more than train for the trades. Delivering on our mission of economic security means we want women to enter trades and transportation careers and stay in them. That only happens with employers who are committed to safe and inclusive workplace cultures, where all people, including our graduates, can thrive.

We work with employers to raise the bar on workplace inclusivity with our Employer of Choice program. This membership program shows our employer partners’ commitment to inclusion in the workplace and supports members on their journey to provide safe and equitable work environments.

Historical Timeline

Celebrating our graduates: Inspiring success stories 

The success of our graduates is a testament to the strength of our programs. Their triumphs have not only transformed their lives but also inspired others to dream big. 

Read graduate success stories