City Encourages Women to Build Futures from the Ground Up

Women Building Futures (WBF) helped Nicole Plachy find a new career as an Apprentice Welder.

Nicole Plachy was interested in a career in the trades but knew she didn’t have enough experience to get the job she wanted. Her research led to Women Building Futures (WBF) and the rest, as they say, is history.

“Women Building Futures helped me jump start my career,” says Nicole, who is now an Apprentice Welder for the City of Edmonton. “The WBF program was definitely a positive experience. I was able to check out several different trades. Some I liked and some I truly disliked, but having an opportunity to try them out was critical to my success.”

The story behind WBF is an impressive journey with countless steps, always looking for ways to move onward and upward.

Registered as a non-profit society in 1998, WBF began as a small group of mostly social workers, who paved the way to helping women achieve economic prosperity through trades training and mentorship.

WBF was first run out of a small office ‘borrowed’ from the City of Edmonton. Today, the training centre, the first of its kind in Canada, includes classrooms, workshops, certified instructors, and even housing.

In 2015, the City’s Recruitment Section formalized a partnership with WBF. “We recognized there was a gender gap within the trades and saw the potential and talent that was being produced from this organization,” says Aly Moorji, Team Lead of the City’s Diversity Recruitment Team. “The City wanted to support graduates of these programs by providing valuable paid work experience in the trades and allow individuals the opportunity to work alongside skilled and experienced tradespeople.”

He says the partnership is a success because of the commitment and collaboration between recruitment professionals, business units, unions and the WBF. “We are so pleased graduates are gaining valuable work experience and women are deciding to pursue careers in the trades.”

The focus of WBF is two-fold – helping transform the lives of women and addressing the need for workers in the skilled trades in Alberta.

“This is an area that is perceived as being an old boys club,” says Mike Scott, President of CUPE Local 30. “WBF tears down the barriers that women often face when trying to enter this workforce and gives them an opportunity to build a career they can be proud of in the trade of their choice.”

There’s something to be said for an educational training program that has an employment placement rate of 90%.

For more information:

Aly Moorji

Diversity Recruitment Team

Title Team Lead
Telephone 780-496-8411