Sydney, Cape Breton —19 skilled and talented women are trained and ready for assembly work with Abengoa after the completion of a two-week Steel Tower Assembly Training Program.
The result of a unique partnership between Abengoa, Emera Newfoundland & Labrador (ENL), Women Unlimited and the Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office (MEBO), this program has opened doors for 19 diverse women in a field where they are significantly underrepresented.
Arlene King is one of the Steel Tower Assembly trainees and is also a graduate of both Women Unlimited and the NSCC Electrical Program. According to her, “This training has opened doors for women in a male-dominated industry. It will provide us with the opportunity to earn a good wage and to stay in our communities, close to our families and support systems.”
A commitment of ENL’s Maritime Link Diversity Plan is to provide employment opportunities to women and members of under-represented groups including Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities and visible minorities.
“We are proud to partner with organizations that enable women to participate in non-traditional programs and create employment opportunities.” says Patricia Butt, Senior HR Manager for ENL. “We are proud of their achievements and will use this as a powerful example of collaboration to create opportunity for underrepresented groups on the project.”
The women were recruited through a joint interview and selection process between Abengoa, Women Unlimited and MEBO. The training took place at the Maritime Environmental Training Institute (METI) and at Abengoa’s site in the Sydport Industrial Park. Abengoa plans to start assembling the steel towers in December.
“From the selection process to the training component, the women have displayed fantastic work ethics, commitment and drive,” says Lloyd Delorey, Foreperson Abengoa
“Our office is focused on building partnerships with large industry and exploring new economic opportunities for our people,” said Alex Paul, Executive Director of the Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office. “This is a fabulous initiative with Abengoa and Women Unlimited! MEBO is thrilled to be a partner.” said Paul.
Abengoa Transmission & Infrastructure was awarded the contract for the construction of approximately 400 km of transmission lines in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia for the Maritime Link Project being built by Emera to bring clean renewable energy to Nova Scotia.
Women Unlimited Manager Doreen Parsons says, “These strong and committed women will work in Cape Breton in great jobs that pay good wages and benefits. They will become members of the IBEW 1928 and role models for their children and families. We are very proud of them and of this partnership.”