LATEST NEWS Skills Training
February 5, 2013
CAWIC chapter expansion a 2013 goal
Tomorrow’s Canadian Association of Women in Construction (CAWIC) membership drive is a chance for non-members and members to connect and create new relationships, says the organization’s president.
“We connect on a business and a personal level and we encourage each other and support each other in growing up the ladder in the industry,” said CAWIC president Tammy Evans.
Architect Debbie Wadsworth of Kasian Architecture, and a past CAWIC president, will speak at the Feb. 6 event about the benefits of membership. The board of directors will also be at the event to speak about membership benefits, such as networking and bursaries.
“There’s a huge benefit in women coming together in a relaxed environment where they can ask whatever questions they want to ask without fear of asking the wrong question to the wrong person or being labeled or targeted,” said Evans.
“Particularly for women, often times we’re juggling many roles, not just our role in the workplace, we’re also juggling other roles. It could be a wife, a mother, continuing education, so we’ve got lots of balls in the air. We need to find a place, a relaxed atmosphere we can talk about these things, get some fresh new ideas and perspectives and some support.”
CAWIC membership spans across the industry as well as students. There are also membership and educational aspects to the organization as well.
CAWIC’s primary goal this year is to open up chapters in areas like Vancouver, Edmonton, Northern Ontario, Hamilton, Ont. and Waterloo, Ont.
“We’ve got a lot of interest right across the board, right across Canada, it’s absolutely wonderful,” said Evans.
The Construction Sector Council predicts that Canada will need an estimated 319,000 new construction workers between 2012 and 2020, as resource projects peak and retirements continue to rise across the country. Nontraditional workers such as women have been highlighted as a way to fill that gap.
Evans sees CAWIC playing a role in helping women find careers in the construction industry.
“We believe that we can provide an integral role in addressing the challenge,” she said.
“We have such strength of women in the industry and right now we have programs that are actually supporting women into the industry whereas we didn’t have those before.”
CAWIC offers educational programs targeted to facilitate women’s entry into the industry. CAWIC has also been involved with educating girls in elementary schools, high schools and post-secondary schools about the construction opportunities for them.
“We’re out there letting them know that skilled trades are a viable option,” she said.
“We’re sending the message in a clear and easily understood way and that we’re providing the links to the educational institutions where they can get that training with grants and bursaries.”
CAWIC has increased its annual bursaries available to female students who are enrolled in a construction-related program. This year’s deadline is March 31.
The Feb. 6 membership drive will take place at the Crooked Cue at 3056 Bloor Street West in Toronto from 6 to 9:30 p.m.
Members are encouraged to bring guests and the member who brings the most guests to the event will receive a surprise gift value over $100.
Visit www.cawic.ca for more information.
Follow Kelly Lapointe on Twitter @DCNKelly.
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