Women Building Futures expands flagship trades program to Regina

Published On
March 26, 2024

With the shared support of the Government of Saskatchewan and industry partners, Women Building Futures (WBF) is expanding free skills training to Regina, Saskatchewan, supporting more unemployed women and those working hard to make ends meet to connect to life-changing careers in the skilled trades.

WBF, which has successfully prepared women for careers in the construction trades and commercial transportation for more than 25 years in Alberta, received $248,000 from the Government of Saskatchewan to expand its Journey to Trades program to Regina. The investment will help women on their paths to economic security.

“Saskatchewan is building a workforce that fosters growth, encourages diversity and provides equal opportunity for all,” says Jeremy Harrison, Minister of Immigration and Career Training. “We’re proud to work with Women Building Futures to provide this program, supporting and empowering women to choose careers in the skilled trades.”

As WBF brings its flagship trades exploration program to Regina, women will receive the necessary support to succeed in the skilled trades. This 12-week introductory construction trades program prepares women with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to start a career in the construction trades.

“Women Building Futures is proud to lead change with the partnership of the Government of Saskatchewan and our industry partners for this program, Enbridge, TC Energy and Pembina, who value and work hard to make inclusive workplaces – the type of workplaces that women will ultimately want to stay in,” says Carol Moen, president and CEO of WBF. “Together, we will see more women in the skilled trades building an economically secure future for themselves and often their children.”

As Saskatchewan continues to see economic growth, there are many opportunities available for women in the skilled trades. This investment will pave the way for life-changing opportunities in well-paying fields where women have been traditionally under-represented and where there are critical resource gaps.

Shared impact

WBF industry partners Enbridge Pipeline Inc., Pembina Pipeline and TC Energy play a crucial role in uplifting women’s lives and helping WBF expand its programming in Regina.

“The Women Building Futures program has been incredibly successful in bringing new and diverse talent to Enbridge in trades roles in Alberta,” says Maury Porter, vice-president of Canadian Operations, LP Operations at Enbridge. “We are excited for this expansion into Regina, which is one of the hubs for our liquids pipelines system in the Prairies and look forward to the positive impact it will have on our Enbridge team and the community as a whole.”

That sentiment is shared by Heather Christie-Burns, vice-president of Transmission Pipelines at Pembina Pipeline.

“Over our 9-year partnership with Women Building Futures, we’ve seen firsthand the impact this program has in creating opportunities for women in the skilled trades. Pembina is committed to creating safe, inclusive and connected communities and it has been our privilege to work together with WBF to remove barriers, increase women’s earning potential and create economic resiliency. We are honoured to support the expansion of the Journey to Trades program in Regina and contribute to a stronger future for women in Saskatchewan,” Christie-Burns says.

Adds Trevence Mitchell, manager of Social Impact at TC Energy, “TC Energy is honoured to support Women Building Futures and their vital work in empowering women to pursue careers in the skilled trades.

“Through our partnership, we have the opportunity to create meaningful change by removing barriers and providing women with the training and resources they need to succeed in these essential industries across Saskatchewan.”

Surrounded by support

Women face many barriers on their paths to economic security, including access to training, childcare, safe and affordable housing, transportation and connections to employment in workplaces they want to stay in.

WBF is committed to surrounding women with the support they need to succeed, starting when they apply and continuing throughout their working careers. Its free programming supports women in areas ranging from financial planning to skills development to ongoing career services after graduation.

“Women Building Futures helped me achieve my goal of being in the trades, becoming an electrician and a successful primary earner to support my family,” says Martina Melnyk, a graduate of Journeywoman Start, now called Journey to Trades, and a third-year electrical apprentice at Enbridge Pipeline, Inc. “WBF changed my life, and I cannot express how grateful I am for their program.”

Applications for Regina’s Journey to Trades program are open until April 27. WBF will welcome its first class of 18 Journey to Trades students in May.