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Feds invest $6.5M in manufacturing and tech skills training for women


The federal government is investing over $6.5 million in Ontario’s YWCA Hamilton branch to train women in advanced manufacturing and related areas.

With this three-year grant from FedDev Ontario, the YWCA Hamilton will assist more than 500 women in the region to develop new skills for jobs in sectors where women are traditionally underrepresented, particularly in the advanced manufacturing and specialized technology sectors.

The first cohort of the program will launch in early 2021.

The project will also be expanded across southern Ontario in partnership with other local YWCAs throughout the GTA, London/St. Thomas, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Ottawa, and eastern Ontario, as well as other women-focused industry partners. That part of the project will accelerate 255 women into STEM-based careers.

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In addition to the reskilling programming, the YWCA Hamilton will work with the YWCA Canada and industry partners to launch the Curated Pathways to Innovation app.

The app will offer free personalized learning pathways and resources to 250 women across southern Ontario, supporting them to acquire the skills to effectively compete for positions in technology fields and skilled trades.

As part of the federal government’s previously announced Women Entrepreneurship Strategy top-up investments amid COVID-19, Hamilton YWCA is also receiving nearly $139,000 to provide one-on-one digital training and workshops/webinars to approximately 75 women to support digital transformation in their businesses.

“We know that women have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. In the Hamilton area, job losses due to COVID-19 were three times higher for women than men,” says Denise Christopherson, CEO of YWCA Hamilton.

“This new $6.4 million investment will not only help women to advance in their careers and receive high-skills training, but it will also help even the playing field in high-tech industries where many women are often left behind.”