June 17, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Edmonton,Alberta – Alberta’s first group of women apprentice ironworkers graduated from a new training program last month, all getting jobs at North West Redwater Partnership’s Sturgeon oil refinery, about 30 miles northeast of Edmonton.
The two-month course is run by a partnership of Ironworkers Local 720’s Apprenticeship and Training Plan; Women Building Futures, a nonprofit group that prepares women for careers in the building trades; and North West Redwater. “The trades are predominantly a man’s world. When women are coming into that world, we want them to be informed and prepared to work alongside men every day,” said Women Building Futures president JudyLynn Archer, who added that she expects all 12 graduates to complete the Ironworkers’ three-year apprenticeship. “I’m interested in building things, fixing things,” said graduate Ramona Standingontheroad, 35, a former truck driver. Kalissa Walker, 23, told the Fort Saskatchewan Record that being an ironworker makes her feel “like a ninja.” Read more