WEST Celebrates a New Crop of Women Entering Skilled Trades


Women's Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor is celebrating the success of women looking to enter skilled trades.

Twenty-three women completed the organizations CNC Industrial Mechanic Millwright Pre-Apprenticeship Program in 2018, many of which have already entered the workforce.

Representatives from the education and manufacturing sector joined graduates for a ceremony at the organization's offices in downtown Windsor Thursday.

Sarah Mitchell's first career was as a graphic designer — when work dried up in her field — the program came through.

"I was going to go back for horticulture and that's when I found out about this program and it has changed my life,"  says the 40-year-old Windsor resident.  "It's helped me with skillset, confidence, income, and has helped my family. I'm really appreciative of the program."

Thirty-seven-year-old Dawn Burr says WEST eliminates all the obstacles.

"They do transportation, child care, anything you need, even if you need business casual clothes for an interview, they can help you with that," says Burr. "They help with everything."

Jaime Campbell graduated from the program in 2015, now she volunteers to help others.

The 29 year old from Windsor has worked in three different shops since, after some ups and downs in the manufacturing industry.

"Right now I'm at Omega Tool, which is a great company. It's been an adventure, but it's one that I want to continue," she says. 

The program has helped 113 women prepare for careers in skilled trades since 2014 — 25 women are expected to interview for the program this fall.