Women in Canadian Manufacturing

CWB Welding Foundation continues Women of Steel program


January 5, 2023
By Canadian Manufacturing Avatar photo
Presented by:
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Women in Manufacturing

Woman of Steel participant welding a T joint in the horizontal position using the Shielded Metal Arc Welding process. (CNW Group/CWB Welding Foundation)

MILTON —The CWB (Canadian Welding Bureau) Welding Foundation is offering the Women of Steel: Forging Forward Program. The program provides learning opportunities that foster education, personal growth, confidence, and experiential learning for women interested in exploring welding and other welding-related skilled trades careers.

This project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Adult Learning Literacy and Essential Skills – Women’s Employment Readiness Program with a $4 million federal contribution, this allows the Foundation to expand its Women of Steel Program, first introduced in April 2019.

The new program targets anyone who identifies as a woman and/or non-binary, including those from racialized or marginalized groups such as Indigenous, Black, newcomers, LGBTQ2S, women with disabilities, or with a prolonged detachment from the labour force.

The program will be delivered over 64 weeks from June 2022 to August 2023, across Canada.

“The Women of Steel: Forging Forward Program aims to increase the number of women in welding and joining, fabrication and other skilled trades. It will provide welding training and support for women with sustainable career options while increasing their economic security.” said Susan Crowley, Executive Director, CWB Welding Foundation. “Women in the program will benefit from wrap around supports such as childcare, transportation, mental health, wellness supports, cultural competencies, employment preparation and counseling sessions.”

This pre-employment program includes practical theory, hands-on welding training, and skills development in a safe environment, with a flexible schedule to balance responsibilities.

Short training periods will be used to train the participants in several welding processes, with the ability to obtain up to eight CWB welding qualifications in various positions with multiple processes making graduates ready for apprenticeship, post-secondary, and employment.

The program includes a Workplace Inclusivity Program that will help improve access, retention, and the advancement of women in welding, fabrication, and other professions. A mentorship program will be designed to support women along the way.