“Having hit my peak as a transcriptionist/office administrator in 2014 I knew it was time to discover a new path.  Having been a stay at home mom for 7 years I started my search for a program that would lead me to a job opportunity where I could work with my hands and be more active at work.

I have three children (all girls) who have all become more independent, and as one of their biggest role models I wanted to show them that we as women can do anything.

When I was accepted into the emPower program I went in with an open mind. I wasn’t sure which trade I would pick. As the weeks passed my interest in welding grew.  I have been so lucky in that my work placement, Aaron Machine Shop, hired me on after my work experience as an Apprentice Welder.  I could not have asked for a better team. I am the only female in the welding shop and  my coworkers have gone above and beyond in teaching me.

I’m so grateful that I am again employable and learning new skills everyday. Even though at the end of the day my feet are tired, and my muscles are sore, I feel accomplished and content.

Thank you emPower for taking me down this path. I am so grateful for this opportunity.” – Shvonne Shepherd

Visit our website empowerab.ca for more information on this amazing program.

A Manpower Alberta program.

“Having the opportunity to explore the trades with other women was an experience that I’ll never forget.

For a long time, I’ve been interested in learning about tools, trades and alternate career options. This program offered me a safe place to learn, grow and be myself without judgement or fear.

I was super nervous about working in a male dominated field, and I often feel pressure to know everything – but with the solid foundation that this program provided me, I felt comfortable and confident walking into the workforce just by being myself, working hard, and asking questions.” – Megan Gray

The employment market being what it has been for the last few years has clearly changed the responsibilities and duties of my previous position as a proposal coordinator; archaic even with a college diploma and over 15 years of experience. Employers now have a broader candidate pool with even more updated skills. 

I had been unemployed for several months. Started a part-time job in a grocery store near by my home. It’s convenient, totally different from what I am used to, but not necessarily what I am looking for.

I felt like I wasn’t needed, worthless and too old to get back in the game competing against a younger crowd. I had hit bottom, my happiness and joie de vive took a dive. 

And then one day, my friend told me that she was going to take this funded program at SAIT called emPower, Women In Trades! I told her good for you! Her reply was: “why don’t you come, you got nothing to lose but time! Think about it.” 

The next week, there were still some seats available. My friend passed me Natalie Smith’s contact information and I registered. I didn’t know what I was getting into at that point, but boy am I happy I did! 

Coming into the emPOWER program was one of the best things that could have happened to me. It gave me that little boost of confidence I needed, it made me feel like I have purpose and am not too old to learn and carry on. I cherish every moment spent with the group. We encourage, support each other, and understand each and everyone’s trials and tribulations without judgment.  

So far, I have learned to appreciate the trades and realize that I could have done this a long time ago. I realized that being back in school after 3.5 decades, that my brain is still functional and all that paying attention in class is paying off!

I want to thank Tara Ursulescu, emPOWER manager, Natalie Smith emPOWER coordinator, SAIT, and every woman in our class for this experience! Let’s do this! 

Visit our website empowerab.ca for more information on this amazing program.

A Manpower Alberta program.