College of the North Atlantic (CNA) and Women in Resource Development Corporation (WRDC) today celebrated the 75th offering of Orientation to Trades and Technology (OTT) at CNA’s Corner Brook campus.
The OTT program was developed by WRDC and offered at various CNA campuses. The first OTT Program was delivered at the college’s Bay St. George campus in October 1999 as a pilot project. Since that time, the program has been continually delivered throughout the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, producing more than 800 graduates.
OTT is a career development program designed to help women make informed decisions about trades and technology careers. Participants receive hands-on experience in a range of trades and technology fields, undertake a variety of academic courses, worksite tours and industry presentations. The program also includes safety certificates and respectful workplace training.
“The Orientation to Trades and Technology program is one of College of the North Atlantic’s great success stories and key to the future sustainability and growth of the province’s economy,” said The Honourable Gerry Byrne, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour. “Removing the barriers that discourage the equal participation of women in the workforce continues to be a priority of the Provincial Government and I commend the college for its impressive efforts in this area.”
For many women, OTT can be the first step toward an exciting, new and well-paying career. There are seven major components in the OTT program: academic; essential work skills; personal and professional development; hands-on skills development; exploration of the natural resource sector, labour market research and job shadowing. Specifically, OTT is designed to provide a safe and supportive environment for women to explore trades and technology training programs.
“When women require additional information to make an informed decision about a career in these fields, we recommend participation in the Orientation to Trades and Technology (OTT) program. It provides the knowledge, experience, and support needed for success,” said Cheri Butt, CEO at WRDC. “In addition to the 75th OTT offering, WRDC is also celebrating 20 years in operation, and our success would not be possible without our key partners and supporters, CNA and the Department of Advanced Education, Skills, and Labour.”
WRDC works to ensure that women are informed about existing programs, and encourages educational institutions to consider the specific needs of women in program design and delivery.
“We are delighted to celebrate this milestone with our partners at WRDC. The Orientation to Trades and Technology program is one of the colleges longest running partnerships, and rightly so. We continue to see women of all ages complete the program, each of them raising their awareness of what a career in the trades and technology sectors has to offer,” said CNA Interim President and CEO, Elizabeth Kidd. “While the number of women in these careers remains low in comparison to their male counterparts, there is significant headway being made in diversifying today’s workforce. We remain committed in our partnership with WRDC in making a difference for women in these career areas.”
Created in 1997, Women in Resource Development Corporation (WRDC) is a provincial non-profit organization increasing women’s participation in trades and technology. With private and public funding, WRDC offers a variety of programs and services to address the challenges surrounding the attraction, recruitment, retention and advancement of women in these sectors. Key activities include: career exploration programs for girls; career counselling and employment assistance services for women; recruitment and retention consultation and training for employers; and collaboration with key stakeholders to identify solutions to issues commonly identified by women in these fields.