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Build a Dream receives federal investment to attract young women to skilled trades

The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour, was in Windsor on February 13, 2020, to make an announcement on behalf of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion. From the robotics training lab at Valiant TMS, Minister Tassi announced that Build a Dream will receive $728,000 through the Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness program, to encourage more young women to explore careers in the skilled trades and support them in their journey.

Build a Dream has already expanded programming across Ontario, but with this injection of funds, the organization can deliver services like hands-on camps and career discovery expos to new cities across Canada, as well as develop tools that families can use to continue the career conversation after experiencing a Build a Dream event; these tools will also be useful for individuals who are unable to attend a Build a Dream event in person.

Build a Dream President, Nour Hachem-Fawaz (back, left) and Minister Tassi (back, 3rd from left), stand with tradeswomen in the region who have gone through Build a Dream to reach these pathways or are advocates for the program.

“It was an honour to welcome Minister Tassi and MP Kusmierczyk to Windsor to make a meaningful and exciting announcement. I’m truly proud of the work we have been able to accomplish at Build A Dream and the lives we have impacted along our journey,” said Nour Hachem-Fawaz, President and Founder of Build a Dream.

“This investment is a huge win for young women across Canada. I’m truly honoured to lead this project and am so proud that Government of Canada is investing in our organization to help young women access career pathways in the skilled trades.”

The Valiant TMS location was chosen for the announcement as the automation company is not only committed to diversifying their workforce, but also has several female co-op students and apprentices on staff who found their career paths by first attending a Build a Dream event. In Valiant’s board room prior to the announcement, Minister Tassi was joined by MP for Windsor-Tecumseh and Parliamentary Secretary of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Irek Kusmierczyk, to talk to some of those apprentices and other tradeswomen about their career journeys. 

Minister Tassi said that it was a fantastic highlight of the day and a pleasure to speak to the 12 women who work as machinists, millwrights, carpenters, robotic programmers. “You are heroes and champions.”

Build a Dream was an idea that collectively it would be possible to move the needle to balance the workforce. Hachem-Fawaz: “I’m proud to say we now have significant investment from the Government of Canada to leverage the strides we have made that will lead to a greater impact across Canada. Made in Windsor-Essex.”

“Once a young women begins to recognize her potential, that recognition cannot be undone.”

You can read the Government of Canada’s official release here and see some great media coverage on the Build a Dream news page.

The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour, MP for Windsor-Tecumseh and Parliamentary Secretary of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Irek Kusmierczyk join a round table discussion with women in trades.
L to R: Machinists Elizabeth Moses, Minister Tassi, MP Kusmierczyk; Build a Dream President Nour Hachem-Fawaz, Millwright Omolade Williams.
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