WE HBA building a gender diverse future for residential construction industry

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The West End Home Builders’ Association partnered with Mohawk College and the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) for an educational showcase Oct. 12 at the Stoney Creek Campus of Skilled Trades.

The event provided 100 young women and gender diverse individuals in Grades 7 and 8 an opportunity to learn about residential construction, skilled trades, and STEM careers through interactive workshop sessions, tours of Mohawk Campus and an inspiring session with Shannon Tymosko, a second-year electrical apprentice and advocate for skilled trades.

“Women make up only 13 percent of the total workforce in construction, and only 5 percent of skilled trades workers,” said Bianca Bruzzese, WE HBA president. “The WE HBA Women In Industry (WIN) Committee is advocating for positive, cultural change that will increase inclusion and gender diversity in the residential construction industry.

“We are very pleased we had the opportunity to educate young women about the rewarding career opportunities within the Industry, and we are thankful for the support we have received from our community partners and members in doing so.”

The purpose of the WEBUILD Showcase was showcase opportunities in residential onstruction, and the academic pathways that exist to get students started. Booths were hosted by community partners and WE HBA members to provide hands-on activities in:

  • renovation (Heartwood Renovations)
  • builder scheduling (Cachet Homes)
  • HVAC (Dynamic Heating & Cooling)
  • 3D modeling (Losani Homes)
  • heavy-duty training and power tool demonstration (Milwaukee Tool)
  • structural engineering (Mohawk College)
  • hand-tool demonstration (Reimar Forming Construction)
  • millwork (Riverside Millwork Group)
  • city planning (Gateway Group)
  • excavation simulation (YORK1)
  • plumbing (Guest Plumbing & Heating)
  • electrical (OYAP)
  • equipment demonstration (YWCA)

Students participated in friendly competitions, workshops and opportunities to talk to professionals from different trades and specialties.

The event was made possible by the WEHBA WIN committee, with support from WE HBA partners BDO, Bell, Enbridge, Molinaro Group and T. Johns Consulting.

Proceeds will go to a Mohawk College scholarship for women and gender diverse individuals in skilled trades.

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