Communications and Marketing

RRC Polytech creates bond with CWB Welding Foundation to host Women of Steel™: Forging Forward Program

March 31, 2023

Winnipeg, Manitoba, on original lands of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininwak, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and homeland of the Red River Métis Nation – Red River College Polytechnic (RRC Polytech) is partnering with the CWB Welding Foundation to remove barriers for women to pursue a career in the trades by introducing the Women of Steel™: Forging Forward Program. The tuition-free program will foster personal growth and confidence by providing experiential learning for anyone who identifies as female and is interested in exploring welding or working in other welding-related skilled trades.

“Creating more pathways and opportunities for women and members of equity deserving groups in our community to pursue rewarding and prosperous careers in the skilled trades industry is a key priority for RRC Polytech, and for our industry partners,” says Fred Meier, President and CEO, RRC Polytech. “We are proud to be one of 14 hosts for the Women of Steel™ program in Canada and to partner with the CWB Welding Foundation because by working together, we are pushing for progress, removing barriers to access and participation in the welding industry, and reinforcing the fact that a career in the trades is one that anyone and everyone can enjoy and excel at.”

This pre-employment program includes practical theory, hands-on welding training, and skills development in a safe and supportive environment. Short training periods will be used to train the participants in several welding processes, with the ability to obtain multiple CWB welding qualifications in various positions with multiple processes making graduates ready for apprenticeship, post-secondary, and employment.

The Women of Steel™: Forging Forward Applied Certificate program is 17 weeks, (15 training, two work placement) running from May 1, 2023 to August 25, 2023. In-person training will be hosted at RRC Polytech’s Skilled Trades and Technology Centre located at the Notre Dame Campus.

As more skilled tradespeople are looking to retire locally and across the country, the pending labour gap continues to grow and opportunities for a career in the industry are countless. Welding and welding fabrication provides a gateway to skilled trades and other related professions and offers a well-paying, stable career choice with many options for women.

“There is a constant demand for skilled welders and tradespeople in Southern Manitoba, so the manufacturing sector is excited to see a proactive approach to try and alleviate some of that pressure,” says Audrey Wiebe, COO of Morden-based Maverick Industries. “Adding a supportive program that encourages more women to pursue the trades will not only shift the current industry demographics towards equality but increase the available talent overall – which in turn, allows businesses like ours to increase productivity, take on more projects, and help propel the province forward.”

All those who identify as a woman, including those from racialized or marginalized groups such as Indigenous, Black, newcomers, 2SLGBTQIA+, women with disabilities, or with a prolonged detachment from the labour force are encouraged to apply.

Applicants will be invited to attend a virtual information session where they will receive more details regarding assessment and admission procedures.

To find out more go to:

The Women of SteelTM:Forging Forward project is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Women Employment Readiness Pilot Program.

About the CWB Welding Foundation:

The CWB Welding Foundation is a national registered charity that relies on the support of industry and community organizations to address the welding skilled trade shortage in Canada. Through education-based programs and initiatives, we continue to reduce barriers that affect key groups; elementary, secondary, and post-secondary students and educators, Indigenous People, women, and the underrepresented. We envision a future where all individuals are encouraged and provided the support needed to reach their true potential in a career in welding regardless of identity factors, social and financial status, and lived experiences including gender, age, ethnicity, language, literacy, culture, income, and geographical location.

RRC Polytech campuses are located on the lands of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininew, Dakota, and Dené, and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis.

We recognize and honour Treaty 3 Territory Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, the source of Winnipeg’s clean drinking water. In addition, we acknowledge Treaty Territories which provide us with access to electricity we use in both our personal and professional lives.

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