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Graduates of women in trades program join Sturgeon Refinery workforce

Job creation partnership trains and employs women in trades

A second class of graduates from Women Building Futures' (WBF) began work at the Sturgeon Refinery.
A second class of graduates from Women Building Futures' (WBF) began work at the Sturgeon Refinery.

In August of this year, a second class of graduates from Women Building Futures' (WBF) began work at the Sturgeon Refinery. Through a partnership program with North West Redwater Partnership (NWR) and the Alberta Carpenters Training Centre, seven carpenter/scaffolder apprentices are now actively employed with three subcontractors at the NWR Sturgeon Refinery.

Women Building Futures first joined forces with NWR in late 2015, along with the Ironworkers Local 720, and celebrated the first graduating class of female ironworkers earlier this year. These apprentice ironworkers are now part of the over 6,000 Albertans working construction at the Sturgeon Refinery every day.

"Our graduates come to employers with unrivalled preparedness for the realities of the job site," says JudyLynn Archer, CEO, Women Building Futures. "NWR values that, and we're proud to have their support in getting more women started in a career they can be excited about."

"Our government is proud to work with the North West Redwater Partnership and Women Building Futures to encourage women to upgrade their skills and train for careers in the skilled trades," said Alberta Labour Minister Christina Gray. "This graduating class of talented apprentices demonstrates our collective efforts in helping open doors for women in the trades. By supporting women, we are building a stronger, more prosperous province."

These skilled women have joined a team at the Sturgeon Refinery focused on building Alberta's energy diversification future, by adding value to Alberta's raw materials, managing CO2 and increasing access to world markets using existing infrastructure.

"Our motivation in this partnership is quite simple. We see tremendous value in the diversification of our workforce, and we want to create opportunities to support these talented and dedicated women as they pursue a career in the trades," says Ian MacGregor, President and Chairman, North West Refining Inc., a 50 per cent owner in NWR. "We have an opportunity to build Alberta's energy diversification future together. These women are now part of our team and I am excited we get to work towards something that we as Albertans can all be proud of."

Tuition for the training program was provided by NWR, and work experience and employment at NWR's Sturgeon Refinery is provided to the women by NWR's contractors: Fluor Canada, PCL Industrial Constructors Inc. and Taurus Projects Group Inc. The Alberta Carpenter Training Centre also provided the hands on skill building throughout the training program.

"We are proud of our involvement in this program and we are confident these graduates will perform with excellence at the Sturgeon Refinery and be on their way to rewarding careers," says Colin Belliveau, Director of Training and Apprenticeship, Alberta Carpenters Training Centre. "The Alberta Carpenters Training Centre and Local 1325 look forward to continuing our partnership with Women Building Futures and NWR as the training program continues to grow."

"We are proud to once again employ the newest class of Women Building Futures graduates," says Gary Truhn, Vice President and General Manager, PCL Industrial Constructors Inc. "Thanks to the job creation partnership between Women Building Futures and NWR, these skilled workers are now well-equipped to not only join the workforce, but to actively contribute to a better future for our province as they pave the way for future graduates in pursuit of a career in the trades."

"We are already seeing the benefits of the program in the workplace and the momentum that this program carries only continues to grow as each class of graduates enters into a career in the trades," says Bill Schneider, Construction Director, Fluor Canada. "Our workforce is made up of dedicated and talented Albertans, and we are pleased to continue to add to our numbers from each of the Women Building Futures graduating classes."

"The integration of these talented female apprentices into the workforce at the Sturgeon Refinery is something we are thrilled to be involved with," says Dave Zubko President Taurus Projects Group Inc. "We fully support the ongoing success of this program and the opportunities it provides for workforce diversification."

Recruitment for the program began in November 2015, throughout which WBF focused on the engagement of Aboriginal women and women living in communities local to the Sturgeon Refinery.

Tuition for the training program was provided by NWR, and work experience and employment at NWR's Sturgeon Refinery is provided to the women by NWR's contractors: Fluor Canada, PCL Industrial Constructors Inc. and Taurus Projects Group Inc. The Alberta Carpenter Training Centre also provided the hands on skill building throughout the training program.

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