For Immediate Release, September 17, 2009
Burlington, ON: Four students in the Women in Skilled Trades Enhanced General Carpentry program were recognized with scholarships at an event held today at The Centre for Skills Development & Training. The scholarships recognize leadership characteristics and the willingness of these students to be ambassadors for women in the skilled trades, and were sponsored by ATHENA Oakville and RESCON (Residential Construction Council of Central Ontario).
“This year’s scholarship winners have demonstrated exceptional technical, academic, teamwork and leadership skills,” said Kathy Mills, CAO of The Centre. “They represent the next generation of women in the skilled trades, and I congratulate them on their achievement.”
The four scholarship winners are: Katharine Kennie of Kitchener (RESCON Scholarship Award); Kristin Ludlow, of Burlington (ATHENA Scholarship Award); Wendy Remie of Toronto (ATHENA Scholarship Award); and Elizabeth Small of Burlington (ATHENA Scholarship Award).
“The ATHENA Oakville Scholarship Program is proud of the many years of inspiring partnership with The Centre to support the women participating in the leading-edge WIST program,” said Cindy Popp, Co-Chair, ATHENA Oakville Scholarship Committee. “We see these women as leaders in the trades who are opening doors for other women.”
The Women in Skilled Trades (WIST) program, a tuition-paid program for 20 participants, trains women for careers in the construction industry with 28 weeks of in-class/on-site instruction and an 18-week work placement. Following graduation, women can enter a variety of apprenticeships and positions in new home construction, renovation work, and management.
WIST is offered by The Centre for Skills Development & Training in partnership with The Government of Ontario, Mohawk College/STARRT Institute and RESCON. The WIST program is also supported with a grant from the Canadian Women’s Foundation and its partners.
“The Women in Skilled Trades program gives women the opportunity to become economically independent and to contribute to Ontario’s economy. When we invest in women, we build stronger communities and a stronger Ontario,” said Deb Matthews, Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues.
“The Canadian Women’s Foundation is delighted to be part of this special event, and we look forward to supporting future participants as they learn, train and gain skills in the trades and technology sector,” says Chanel Grenaway, Director of Economic Development Programs at the Canadian Women’s Foundation.
Kathy Mills, CAO of The Centre; Wayne Joudrie, Chair of The Centre’s Board of Directors and Director of Education, Halton District School Board; with the award winners: Kristin Ludlow, Katharine Kennie, Elizabeth Small, Wendy Remie; along with Burlington Mayor, Cam Jackson.
The Centre for Skills Development & Training is a leading provider of quality career and workforce development programs, products and services, specializing in pre-apprenticeship trades and technology, employment services, corporate development services, language skills and academic upgrading. The Centre offers its programs at locations in Burlington, Georgetown, Malton, Milton, Mississauga and Oakville. Visit www.thecentre.on.ca to learn more.
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The Centre for Skills Development & Training
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Women in Skilled Trades (WIST) scholarship winners
RESCON Scholarship Award:
While enrolled in the Enhanced General Carpentry Program at The Centre, Katharine Kennie has demonstrated that she has the technical skill needed to succeed. In addition, she is an enthusiastic and ambitious student who has proven herself to be a “go-to” person for her peers.
Katharine loves a challenge. She excels at taking what she’s learned in a classroom setting and applying that knowledge in the shop. She’s interested in moving beyond the conventional applications of her expertise, and finding alternative and environmentally sustainable ways to complete a task. “I have spent some time researching environmental issues and practices within the construction industry,” she says, “and I plan on focusing on these issues throughout my career.”
Even before she enrolled in The Centre’s program, Katharine demonstrated a knack for learning and leadership. Previous employers and peers can vouch for the dedication, commitment and determination that will serve Katharine well in her future career.
For Katharine, one valuable part of her training has been the opportunities she’s had to enhance her leadership skills. While acting as “shop foreman” for a week and participating in Skilled Trades Week in May 2009, Katharine gained new insights into leading a team and motivating other people to achieve their best. Her drive, work ethic and attention to detail make her a genuine role model for other women in the skilled trades.
ATHENA Scholarship Awards:
Kristin Ludlow enrolled in the Women in Skilled Trades (WIST) program at The Centre to build up the skills and experience she needs to pursue a plumbing career.
Why plumbing? For Kristin, it’s a trade that can make a difference to the environment. Kristin is interested in the many new technologies such as solar water heating, geo-thermal heating systems and radiant floor systems that can lead to reduced energy production and related costs for the homeowner. That’s why WIST’s four-week partnership with Mohawk College was so valuable for Kristin. She learned many skills and techniques that can contribute to an eco-friendly plumbing career.
In addition, Kristin gained interpersonal and leadership skills that will help her achieve success. She has strived to learn as much about other elements of the trades, such as carpentry, because she recognizes the importance of all trades working together to complete a project.
Through her experience at The Centre, Kristen has proven herself capable of achieving anything she wants. “I have surpassed my own personal expectations of myself and am proud to be a student of the WIST program.”
Kristin is looking forward to using the scholarship to purchase specialized plumbing tools so she can continue to build her skills and prepare for a rewarding career.
Wendy Remie won’t let gender stereotypes stand in her way. She has always enjoyed working with her hands and using tools to build things that she can be proud of. Although she wasn’t always encouraged to learn a trade, Wendy feels that her success in the Women in Skilled Trades (WIST) program will help people recognize that there is no such thing as “men’s work” or “women’s work.” As one of her colleagues in the program has said, she “represents the women in skilled trades like no other.”
Throughout her time at The Centre, Wendy has accepted several leadership roles. She excels at helping her team members stay on track with the project at hand. Her facility at math and working with numbers gives her an edge when it comes to understanding architectural plans and making calculations. In addition, Wendy’s positive energy and inclusive attitude make her a model for the other women in the WIST program.
Wendy hopes to use her experience and leadership skills to encourage other women who have an interest in the skilled trades. “My goal from this program is to utilize all my skills and training to run a successful business,” she says, “as well as be a strong advocate for encouraging women in the skilled trades.”
Elizabeth Small knows that being successful in the trades isn’t just about having perfect technical skills. While Elizabeth has all the expertise required to complete a construction project to the highest quality standards, she also possesses other skills that will mean a successful career—teamwork, loyalty, commitment to quality, and, most importantly, an eagerness to learn. That eagerness led her to enroll in the Women in Skilled Trades (WIST) program at The Centre.
Elizabeth has experience working in the construction industry, and has performed a variety of tasks for her employers. From tiling and painting, to rough-in electrical and plumbing, to cabinets and ceramics, Elizabeth brings a diversity of skills to the WIST program. Her comfort in the shop and her willingness to learn from her instructors has allowed Elizabeth to achieve a high academic standing.
On any given day at The Centre, Elizabeth can be found taking a leadership role on a team-based project, helping a fellow student work through a challenge, or demonstrating how to use a reciprocating saw. Elizabeth enjoys working with power tools, and plans to use her scholarship to purchase a mitre saw that she’s had her eye on.
Beyond using her skills on the worksite, Elizabeth hopes to encourage other individuals in considering the trades as a career choice. Her enthusiasm will make her an effective mentor for the next generation of tradespeople.