Federal Funding to Help Expand a Made-in-Windsor Program

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A made-in-Windsor effort to attract female high school students into the skilled trades has received a major boost from the federal government.

Build a Dream has received $728,000 from the federal government.

The money will be used to help attract female high school students from across the country to careers in the skills trade industry.

Nour Hachem-Fawaz started the program in 2014 with hopes of addressing the skills trades shortage across Windsor-Essex.

She says it's the first substantial funding her organization has received from the federal government.

"It's going to allow us not only to enhance our programs and services in Windsor-Essex, to showcase the career pathways and the skilled trades for young women, but it's going to allow us to take our programming across Canada and support other communities within different regions that are facing a skilled trades shortage," she says. "There's a significant need for more females to enter the trade."

Hachem-Fawaz says young women are shaping the future for other young ladies.

"It was a grassroots initiative that started in our local region that has grown significantly across the province of Ontario. Now with this federal funding we'll be able to share that model and those services with the rest of Canada," she says.

Minster of Labour Filomena Tassi made the funding announcement in Windsor on Thursday at Valiant TMS on Tecumseh Rd. E.

The funding is through the country's Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness Program.

Hachem-Fawaz says since the program started, it's influenced the lives of over 10,000 young women and their parents across Ontario.

"I often say that you can't be what you can't see, but the beauty of getting more women into the skilled trades is that it also allows you to shape the future for other young women, because those females become role models and they use their platform and their story to shape the lives of other young women," she adds.

In November 2019, Build a Dream announced it was partnering with EllisDon Construction to help expand the program across Canada.

Build a Dream was registered as a not-for-profit organization in 2017.