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Launching a Fulfilling Journey Into the Trades

Women Building Futures brings free programming, financial support, employment connections to Saskatchewan

Launching a Fulfilling Journey Into the Trades

Women Building Futures brings free programming, financial support, employment connections to Saskatchewan

Published 03-25-24

Submitted by Enbridge Inc.

A woman wearing safety equipment in a workshop

A stay-at-home mother of two stepped out of her comfort zone and enrolled in a trades exploration program. It changed her life.

She started earning more than a living wage immediately after finishing her free training through Women Building Futures (WBF), a non-profit based in Edmonton, Alberta.

Within a few years, she had saved enough money to purchase the family’s first home.

Today, she’s furthering her education to become a second-class power engineer—and at the same time showing her young daughters that girls and women really can do anything.

“Women account for about 5% of apprenticeship registrations in construction, manufacturing and transportation,” says Caitlin Hartigan, WBF’s Director of Program Management and Delivery.

“These are resilient careers that women can work in, and there is a significant demand for new skilled tradespeople across Canada,” she observes.

WBF’s flagship program, Journey to Trades, guides cohorts of 18 women and gender-diverse individuals through introductory training needed to work in the construction industry. The program has been offered in Alberta since 2001, and will be offered in Regina, Saskatchewan for the first time in May, with similar training opportunities being developed in Ontario.

In Journey to Trades, students learn career and professional skills; receive hands-on technical instruction in areas such as welding, carpentry, and plumbing; and take safety certifications, such as WHMIS and first aid.

WBF also supports the employer’s side, helping the trades get “ready for women,” Hartigan adds.

The organization nurtures relationships with Employers of Choice to ensure WBF graduates have the opportunity to join inclusive and equitable workplaces where they can thrive.

To be included as an Employer of Choice, WBF reviews the companies’ policies to ensure that they “hold values of diversity, equity and inclusion as closely to their operations as we do,” Hartigan explains, noting graduates are more likely to succeed and stay in the trades when they work in companies whose values align with WBF’s.

Enbridge is proud to be a WBF Employer of Choice. We believe diverse workplaces contribute to healthy, vibrant communities. This week, as we all celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, we extend an invitation to women and women-identifying individuals to explore a fulfilling career at Enbridge.

In recognition of the impact Journey to Trades has on women workers in our industry, we awarded WBF a $105,000 Fueling Futures grant to support the expansion of its programming into Saskatchewan.

WBF anticipates a successful launch in the neighbouring province. “The program maintains a completion rate of over 90%,” says Hartigan, adding that Journey to Trades celebrated its 100th cohort in 2023.

Supports are in place for alumnae after graduation, too. At any time, they can rely on WBF for career advice to further their professional goals.

Adds Hartigan: “To see the success of women coming into the program, and then years later, seeing them thrive in industry is incredible.”

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Enbridge Inc.

Enbridge Inc.

About Enbridge

At Enbridge, our name spells out our mission: a bridge to a sustainable energy future. That bridge safely connects millions of people around the world to the energy they rely on every day, fueling quality of life. Whether it’s natural gas, oil or renewable power, the energy we deliver through networks spanning North America and our growing European offshore wind portfolio helps to heat homes, feed families, fuel vehicles and power industry. We’re investing in modern energy infrastructure to sustain access to secure, affordable energy. We’re also building on two decades of experience in renewable energy to advance new low-carbon energy technologies including hydrogen, renewable natural gas and carbon capture and storage. We’re committed to reducing the carbon footprint of the energy we deliver, and to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Enbridge’s common shares trade under the symbol ENB on the Toronto (TSX) and New York (NYSE) stock exchanges. To learn more, visit us at

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