News Release Article from  Western Economic Diversification Canada

Archived - Harper Government Expands Training and Skills Development Opportunities for Women

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July 7, 2015 – Edmonton, Alberta – Western Economic Diversification Canada

Today, the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced an investment of $2,097,375 to expand the Women Building Futures’ (WBF) Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) Program.

Today’s investment will allow WBF to acquire assets that promote the long-term sustainability and delivery of their HEO training program for students. Additionally, federal funding will secure simulator equipment that supports HEO training at WBF.

Well-known companies such as Imperial, Finning Canada, Mammoet Canada Western Ltd., and SureHire, are also supporting the HEO Program by providing WBF with access to invaluable services and resources that ensure women receive the skills and experience needed to pursue careers in non-traditional trades.

Quick Facts

  • Federal funding will support the equipment purchase of two 100-ton haul trucks, a loading tool and simulator, as well as simulator support packages, conversion kits and e-learning modules.
  • Over 60 women are expected to be trained and employed as HEO operators by 2018.
  • By 2020, WBF anticipates to have close to 100 HEO program graduates per year with an average income increase of 160 per cent upon graduation. Twenty per cent of its graduates will be Aboriginal women.


“Our Government is committed to ensuring Canadians have the necessary skills and training they need to fill available jobs in our economy. We are proud to support this collaborative initiative which will not only increase economic opportunities for women by providing them with skills they need to succeed, but also help to develop the talent required for the growth of our economy.”

- The Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification

“Women Building Futures is so excited to partner with Emeco in this joint venture and extends many thanks for their support and the support from the Government of Canada, Imperial, Finning Canada, Mammoet Canada, and SureHire. Since first being offered in 2009 the WBF Heavy Equipment Operator Program has continued to generate incredible interest from both women seeking to enter the industry, as well as the employers seeking to hire them. With today’s announcement, this program will continue that success for many years to come.”

- JudyLynn Archer, President and CEO of Women Building Futures

“Emeco has proudly supported Women Building Futures (WBF) for the past three years and we are excited to be partnering together in this new venture. Like Emeco, WBF is focused on empowering women to succeed in resource industry careers and inspiring positive economic change. We believe through this relationship WBF will be able to achieve even greater success and we are thrilled to be a part of it”.

Chris Hayman, President North America, Emeco Group

Additional Links


Nicholas Insley
Office of the Minister
Western Economic Diversification
Telephone: 613-220-6208

JudyLynn Archer
President and Chief Executive Officer
Women Building Futures
Telephone: 780-452-1200

Chris Hayman
President, North America
Emeco Group
Telephone: 780-483-2942

WD Toll-Free Number: 1-888-338-WEST (9378)
Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-877-303-3388
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