National Education Month: Trade Journey Saskatoon
June 30, 2021
November is National Education Month and Epic Alliance Inc. wanted to highlight two of the great organizations in Saskatoon that enable education...at any and every age! The second organization that we met with is Trade Journey Saskatoon through YWCA Saskatoon. We interviewed Natasha Martynes, the Trade Journey Manager at Trade Journey Saskatoon, as well as two current students, Shannon and Jennifer, about the program and what it provides for the students and the community at large. What is Trade Journey Saskatoon? Trade Journey is a 16-week program for women who have an interest in working in the trades. They accept applications twice a year and accept 15 women into the program. They accept applications from women who already have experience or have previously worked in construction, renovation, mining, or maintenance positions, but it’s not a requirement. Trade Journeys will also accept women who show they have drive, dedication, and a desire to get involved in the trades and want to improve their skills. The program is also an opportunity for women to get involved in the trades without dealing with the hostility that is often found on worksites. It gives them the confidence and skills so that when they do get on a worksite, which are traditionally dominated by men, they can know and show they are equally as qualified to be there. Trade Journey also supplies each participant with their own equipment, such as hammers, hats, and boots, and also allows them to explore a variety of trades so that learners can find out what suits them best. Why is Trade Journey vital to Saskatoon and Saskatchewan? It’s important to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and even other parts of Canada as it gives more women the skills needed to get out and do something they’re passionate about. As Shannon said in the video, she had tried being on other work sites, but was often handed jobs such as sweeping the work site rather than doing actual construction work. She also wants to take the skills she learns and share them with others in her community up north, giving them the ability to do things for themselves. Natasha also mentioned the economic impact that happens when women are given the tools and learn the skills for this type of work. It means more working people, which can often mean more stable income for households, which in turn benefits the local economy in numerous ways. How can I help or get involved? Trade Journey Saskatoon receives funding from the Province of Saskatchewan and also accepts funding from the public. Donations help cover the cost of running the program and supplying students with PPE. To make a donation, you can go here on the YWCA website and write a message saying you want the funds to support the Trade Journey program. Another way to support is to follow Trade Journey on social media (Trade Journey Saskatoon on Facebook and @TradeJourneySaskatoon on Instagram) and share what they do with others in your circle.