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December 17, 2012

CAWIC donates $2,000 to new Canadian military employment transition program

In keeping with its mission of encouraging and supporting the entry of women into the industry, the Canadian Association of Women in Construction (CAWIC) is donating $2,000 to a recently launched Canadian military employment transition program.

Association president Tammy Evans, a partner in the law firm of Blaney McMurtry, said the Canada Company initiative is “a perfect fit” for CAWIC. The program help Forces personnel find jobs after they leave military service.

“As we have a significant shortage of skilled trades in Canada and military personnel have desirable transferable skills, we will be working with Canada Company to provide information, assistance, connections and support for women who are interested in entering the construction industry.”

The funds were raised at CAWIC’s recent holiday dinner. A variety of donated items were auctioned, from spa packages to Raptors’ tickets and even a one-night stay at a Holiday Inn.

Evans, whose organization has 185 members, said the Canada Company was chosen by the CAWIC board of directors as this year’s charity of choice as its goals are compatible with those of the association.

In the past, proceeds from the silent auction have been donated to such charities as women’s shelter and food banks.

The national program, announced last summer, is intended to build and strengthen relationships between Canadian employers and the military in order to help military personnel transition to civilian careers. On average, 5,000 personnel leave the Forces annually. That number is expected to grow with the wind-down of operations in Afghanistan.

Evans said CAWIC is well-positioned to facilitate connections between former female military personnel and its corporate members, which include major contractors as well as George Brown College which provides construction-related training.

The association was introduced to Canada Company by TDT Crews, a Stoney Creek-based agency that provides skilled contract workers. TDT had heard about the employment transition program at a meeting in Alberta.

Shawn Thompson, the program’s director, said his organization is looking forward to partnering with CAWIC in developing some targeted initiatives so that women leaving the Forces are aware of the opportunities available to them in construction. He encourages CAWIC corporate members to join the program.

The program offers a secure web portal which provides relevant information and resources for Forces personnel. It also provides formal orientation and information for participating employers across the country.

Ongoing liaison will be provided between the chief of military personnel at the Forces and participating Canadian companies to help ensure both sides are aware of available and required skills with a view to finding successful and long-term matches.

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