To provide bursaries and mentorship to women enrolled in trades programs
Women often face financial challenges that can affect their decision to pursue training in the trades. The combined high costs of daycare, food, rent and tuition often deter them from furthering their education.
That’s why RBC Foundation is committing $700,000 to support women enrolled in trades programs at Thompson Rivers University (TRU). This is the largest donation RBC has made in BC, outside of the Lower Mainland. The donation will fund the RBC Women in Trades Training Program, including:
- The RBC Bursary for Learning Success: Each academic year, seven students will receive a $3,000 bursary based on need, academic performance and commitment. Over a ten-year period, 70 bursaries will be awarded.
- The RBC Leadership Training program for volunteer mentors: A team of six women, comprising students, apprentices, and journeypersons, will be trained as volunteer mentors to help guide women enrolled in TRU trades programs on an ongoing basis.
- An RBC Mentorship Coordinator: This position will support and guide women enrolled in trades programs at TRU.
“The advancement of women within the workforce and in their communities is a key focus for RBC,” said Graham MacLachlan, Regional President, BC, RBC. “Skilled tradespeople are in great demand all across Canada. The RBC Women in Trades Training Program will help women overcome the financial barriers to training for a new career, while helping address a critical skills gap in British Columbia.”
“Trades training at TRU is one of our traditional foundations and an integral part of how this university serves the needs of the province,” said Alan Shaver, TRU President and Vice-Chancellor. “This gift to TRU’s Foundation Trades program will build the economic capacity of women, thus improving their lives, the lives of their families and their communities.”
For Kayla Goertzen, a mother of three, the support from RBC means that instead of worrying about her disabled daughter’s future, or poor health affecting her husband’s ability to work steadily, she can concentrate on learning the principles of the piping trade. A practical-minded 32-year-old, Kayla says she’ll move her family wherever they need to be so she can have a steady job applying her new trade. “This support from RBC is going to make sure I can help provide for our family. A steady job in a skilled trade is going to make all the difference for our family.”
Read Kayla’s speech below
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Ian Colvin, Senior Manager, Communications, RBC,
Christopher Seguin, Vice-president Advancement, TRU
Lindsay Langill, Dean, TRU School of Trades and Technology
Kayla Goertzen’s speech
My name is Kayla and I am very proud to be a Foundation Piping student here at TRU.
My husband Matthew and I have three kids, Lillian, Malcolm, and Ella. Our family has had some setbacks over the past couple of years. Ella was diagnosed with Sotos Syndrome when she was a baby and my husband has health issues that have made it hard for him to work steadily. I’ve realized that it’s up to me to make sure Ella is cared for her whole life.
My biggest setback has always been time. There just isn’t enough time in the day to be a mom, a student, support our family, and get a little sleep. I’ve tried to do it all, but my kids were first to let me know that it wasn’t working out. My boss was the second to tell me when I fell asleep on my feet.
Now, thanks to RBC, I don’t have to sacrifice any more. I can concentrate on what is important: my family and bettering our future. But RBC isn’t just helping me out, they are helping many other women in their trades journey and in turn, making great strides for equality of men and women in the Canadian trades industry.
On behalf of myself, my family, and all future trades women, thank you.