Camosun receives largest donation in college’s history
March 17, 2017 by Adam Marsh, student editor
The Camosun College Foundation’s TRADEmark of Excellence campaign recently received the largest donation in the history of the college. The $1-million donation is from the Gwyn Morgan and Patricia Trottier Foundation and will go toward funding a new program: Camosun Empowering Women in Trades.
Camosun president Sherri Bell is pleased about what the donation will do to better the future of the college.
“It’s a remarkable donation in that the donors were very specific about where they wanted to see support in the trades, and that was for women in trades,” says Bell. “We were able to utilize their $1 million, along with some other funding sources, to really support women getting into outstanding careers in trades.”
Camosun program and development coordinator for Women in Trades Training Jayna Wiewiorowski, who is also an alumna of the college, says the new program is innovative.
“It’s going to be able to expand what we’ve been able to formally do, so helping women get through exploratory programs and then Foundation training,” she says. “We’ll open it to more scholarships, help on the worksite, and do it on a case-by-case basis, depending on what the student needs. Our big goal for this one is to help women through the apprentice system and ultimately completing their Red Seal designation.”
Wiewiorowski says Camosun is hoping to start the program—which is still largely in the developing stages—this fall, and that aspiring students can look for more information online in the summer.
“The big thing that we want to do is because our current funding generally can only help students through their Foundation training, we want to be able to support them either financially, or with tools or any other support that we can provide throughout their entire Red Seal process,” she says, “so that, ultimately, we can see more females coming through the Red Seal program.”
Bell says that the Empowering Women in Trades program is the first of its kind in the province.
“We’re going to be able to provide a program that no one else in the province provides,” says Bell. “And that is through student bursaries, but also through very targeted support for women.”
The program will include apprenticeship coaches and mentoring to support women in the trades so that they can actually get into an apprenticeship, but Bell says the guidance will go even further than that.
“At times there are women who don’t go into apprenticeship training because daycare, if they are a single mom, may not open as early as they need to get on a job site,” she says, “and so that’s where our mentors and coaches will help support women with other things, other than just the academic work and the apprenticeship part.”