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


Canadian unions celebrate announcement of universal CPP expansion

This is a very historic occasion for the labour movement as we have been working for many years to get CPP reform.  Well yesterday our hard work finally paid off with the announcement of a modest universal expansion of the Canadian Pension Plan.  I first started working on this campaign in 2009 and we thought it was going to be a simple campaign.  Why wouldn’t provincial governments be receptive to this idea?  The only hurdle we faced at the time was Alberta.  The Deputy Finance Minister at that time told us the only way to get Alberta on board was to get rid of Ted Morton.  Well fast forward 7 years to today and although the announcement yesterday doesn’t quite reach the goal of doubling the CPP as we had initially lobbied for, it’s a step in the right direction.

“Too many Canadians today are struggling in retirement and change is long overdue.  Even though we had asked that the CPP be doubled, we appreciate that this will be the first increase in the plan’s history, and one that will benefit all Canadians”, said Canadian Labour Congress President Hassan Yussuff.

Mike Scott
President, CUPE Local 30


Leave no one behind in CPP expansion: Mark Hancock

A growing number of business and financial sector voices with histories of strong opposition to expanding the Canada Pension Plan have suddenly accepted that our public, not-for-profit, pension system should grow. Their newfound support, however, comes with many caveats. Their strategy now focuses on ensuring any expansion of the CPP is overly narrow and extremely modest.

Continue Reading…

WCB Review

The panel is ready to hear from you! Starting today and running through to July 15, we want your opinions and experiences with the workers’ compensation system. We’re inviting you to provide your thoughts in an online questionnaire or by written submission through this website.

We want to hear from as many Albertans as possible, whether you’re a worker, from large industry or a small or medium-sized business, a labour union, a safety and industry association, or an Albertan who has an interest in the WCB system. You bring your own perspectives, wisdom and unique ideas about how the WCB should operate. By participating you are doing your part as we develop recommendations to help ensure a WCB that works for everyone.

Following the questionnaire and submissions, we will continue to work together with Albertans throughout the fall and winter to dig a little deeper into the issues you’ve identified. We’ll have more details on how that will work in the coming weeks. If you haven’t done so, please sign-up for updates so you can get the latest on our progress.

Click HERE for details


Greetings Presidents of CUPE Locals in Edmonton and Area;

Many of the CUPE members from Fort McMurray have arrived in Edmonton.  The Alberta Regional CUPE office is receiving calls as some families are seeking accommodations…so we are looking for volunteers and we will create a list of anyone who is interested in assisting members who are evacuees from Fort McMurray.

Please be aware if you volunteer we do not know how long they may need refuge and be advised it may have some financial impact on those who open up their homes.

If you or anyone within your membership would like to volunteer for this, please email Jamy Brent at or call the Alberta Regional Office at (780) 484-7644 and she will take your information.  Yvonne Fast will make contact with them.

Thank you for your help during this extremely difficult time for the CUPE members from Fort  McMurray.

In solidarity,
Yvonne Fast, Alberta Regional Director