3 min read
28 April 2022

WoodGreen Community Services announces a new program to help women enter higher-paying skilled trades

Toronto, Ont. – WoodGreen Community Services has partnered with George Brown College to help more women have careers in higher-paying trades.

The Women’s Computerized Numerical Control (CNC)/Precision Machining Project: Creating Innovative Approaches to Building Inclusive and Welcoming Workplaces for Women in the Skilled Trades will assist 20 people who identify as women to be employment-ready for entry-level CNC/Precision Machinist jobs in less than six months. The skills training will be delivered by George Brown College, while WoodGreen will be helping participants with job coaching and placement. The project was made possible by funding from the Ontario Skills Development Fund.

Providing women with trades skills will help to fill huge labour shortages in the sector. Canada anticipates a shortfall of 10,000 workers in nationally-recognized Red Seal trades over the next five years. Additionally, more than 700,000 tradespeople are expected to retire by 2028. Meanwhile, women, who occupy about half of the workforce, comprise less than five per cent of workers in skilled trades, and of those, most work in low-paying trades such as baking, cooking, and hair cutting

Importantly, WoodGreen is collaborating with employers and women jobseekers to address systemic issues that impede the creation of supportive and inclusive workplaces for women and also long-term job retention.


“WoodGreen is proud to be offering this important program with support from Minister McNaughton. Right now, women, as well as gender non-binary, trans, and 2-spirit peoples, are massively underrepresented in the trades sector, while at the same time, there is a huge demand for workers with these skills. We want to help shatter this glass ceiling and see more members of these groups have successful careers in this field.” - Steve Vanderherberg, Director of Economic Empowerment, WoodGreen Community Services

“Machinists are a cornerstone of Ontario’s manufacturing sector and help power our province’s economic engine. While we know that the machining trades offer well-paying jobs and meaningful career opportunities, women, gender non-binary, trans, and 2-spirit peoples are still highly absent from this field. Together with WoodGreen Community Services and our industry partners, this program is designed to increase the number of people from under-represented groups entering the field and help them build successful careers in the machining trades.”- Dr. Adel Esayed, Dean for the Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies, George Brown College

“Jobs in the skilled trades are rewarding and often pay six figures with pensions and benefits. Our government is on a mission to spread opportunity more fairly and widely, which is why we are investing in the program at WoodGreen Community Services, which will get more women into these incredible careers.” – Hon. Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour Training and Skills Development

The program will be accepting applicants in June 2022 with skills training starting in September 2022. Anyone interested can email Heather Hunter at [email protected] or call 416-759-4540.

ABOUT WOODGREEN COMMUNITY SERVICES (woodgreen.org): WoodGreen is one of the largest social service agencies in Toronto, serving 37,000 people each year. We offer over 75 programs and services tackling the social determinants that affect the health and well-being of individuals in our community.


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Jen Mayville, Marketing & Communications Manager; [email protected]; (437) 226-8091 (cell)