Monday, April 15, 2024

Camosun receives nearly $1.3 million donation to open doors for women in trades


A massive donation of almost $1.3 million was given to Camosun College to open doors for women pursuing training in a wide range of Red Seal trades programs.

This gift was given by the Gwyn Morgan and Patricia Trottier Foundation, who has donated large sums of money to the college before in the effort to bring more women into trades programs. 

The foundation has a five year commitment to give to the college and their efforts are historically, the largest philanthropic gift the college has ever received, other than estate donations. 

Since its inception, the program has changed the lives of many women in Greater Victoria.

“The Empowering Woman in the Trades program has changed my life in such an incredible way, words can’t express the gratitude I have,” says Sarah Cooper, a former student of the Women in Trades sampler circa 2021 who plans on returning for additional training. 

“I don’t know where my family and I would be there today without the ongoing mentorship and financial support that I’ve been given throughout my time at Camosun.”

In 2017, the foundation made a donation of $1 million. With that they began the Empowering Women in the Trades program. This second pledge will make sure it continues on for another five years. 

“We saw the tremendous impact the first gift had on the lives of women over the last five year and how it encouraged more women to enter trades so it made sense to do it again,” says Gwynn Morgan. 

“It is important to ensure the Empowering Women in the Trades program can continue to raise the quality of life for tradespeople and their families, as well as ensure employers and industries have a workforce to draw upon.”

According to the Province, more than 85,000 jobs will be opening in the trades in BC over the next ten years and this program will help to diversify the workforce in coming years. 

The Empowering Women in the Trades program is unique to Camosun and is multifaceted in its approach to garnering participants. 

In addition to breaking down certain financial barriers, it offers opportunities for one on one support, networking and mentoring opportunities as well as employment support with the ultimate goal of getting more women their Red Seal in their desired trade. 

As a result of this program, 1,000 women have gone on to find gainful employment in a career in one of 12 Red Seal trades programs at Camosun.

Curtis Blandy

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