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Success Stories 

We empower women to change their lives with a career in the construction, maintenance and driving industries. Here are some of their stories.


Nat is a graduate of our Journeywoman Start Class #36 and is now a Journeyman Structural Welder. “I want to inspire other women to follow suit and become financially independent and have these awesome skills under their belts.” Click Nat’s photo to view the full video.

Nat JWS 36

Lola graduated from our Professional Class 1 Driver program in 2019 and now drives full time for a living. “Step into the driver’s seat, one foot at a time, don’t be intimidated. I’m only five foot 2. If I can do it anybody can do it. Just go for it.” Click Lola’s photo to view the full video.

Lola Class 1 Driver


Katelyn graduated from our Journeywoman Start Class #89 and is now a first year electrician. “Walking into my mother’s house with the projects I made and watching the pride on her face, it’s just a great feeling to know I did that. And I can do it again, and over again, it’s just endless possibilities.” Click Katelyn’s photo to view the full video.

Katelyn JWS 89

Karma is a graduate of our Journeywoman Start Class #1 and the successful business owner of Cree-Con Construction, employing 25 people, 95% of whom are Indigenous. “Pick a trade that you love so much that you can’t live without it, and really know that you can do this job.” Click Karma’s photo to view the full video.

Karma JWS 1



Gerda was born and raised in Venezuela, and in 2006 she moved to Alberta with her husband and children looking for a better future. After her kids grew up, she began to look for a job. Back in Venezuela, she was trained as a mechanical engineer. The job hunt wasn't easy as she had been out of the workforce for over 10 years. Gerda found and began training with Women Building Futures in fall of 2017. “In those weeks, thanks to my instructors and classmates from WBF my confidence went up, I learned so much” says Gerda. “I appreciate the support of WBF and their sponsors and partners for the opportunity I got, and for the many women who can realize their dreams, support their families, and enjoy their new lives.”


Karen was working as a high-level administrator but felt stifled by the environment and lack of advancement opportunities. She was bored behind a desk and knew she had more to offer. She heard about Women Building Futures through a fried and after years of deliberation decided to give it a shot. Karen was accepted into the Journeywoman Start program and thrived in the trade’s environment. “I didn’t know I could do half of the things I did, but my instructors and classmates helped me succeed” She attributes most of her success throughout the program to her fellow JWS students and the necessary supports at WBF. “I couldn’t have done it without all of the people around be for those 17 weeks and beyond” and says it’s not just about going to school “it’s about building bonds that will last a lifetime”.


Tatyana was looking for a change in her life and knew there was a better way to support her daughters. After considering Journeywoman start for a few months she was encouraged by friends and family to apply. “I was nervous to try something completely different, but I can’t imagine where I would be if I hadn’t” The best part of the program for her was the hands-on experience. “It was crazy to be able to make something with my bare hands.” Tatayana is now entering her apprentice for pipefitting, and is looking forward to what the future holds for her and her daughters. “I am so grateful for the opportunity given to me by WBF and all of their supporters, I am a new person and can give a new life to my family thanks to the program.“


Christine’s mother was a truck driver, so she’s no stranger to women in non-traditional jobs. When she began the Journeywoman Start program, it was with the full support of her parents. Over the course of the program, she felt encouraged and pushed to do better at every turn. “WBF really made me understand and prepared me for a workplace in an industrial setting,” Christine said. As a millwright, she has “great opportunities to further develop [her] career.” She goes back to school for her second-year apprenticeship training in six months. Right now she’s just enjoying the fruits of her labour, some work-life balance and a new lifestyle. “I’m looking for a new place to live and I don’t have to settle on bad neighbourhoods because money isn’t an issue,” she said. Christine feels that her story of going from a string of unfulfilling jobs to a long-term, steady career with great pay could inspire others.”


Stefanee was working as a camp attendant in Fort MacMurray and enjoyed the camp life but felt the need for a shift. She reached out to Alberta Works to explore her options and was eventually referred to Women Building Futures. She began the Journeywoman Start program and instantly fell in love with the shops. “The hands-on learning is amazing, every single day we learn something new, and you can’t believe how it applies to real life.” She can’t wait to start fixing things around the house for her family and knows that the program “won’t just help me get a job, it will also help in my life.” Stefanee isn’t sure what trade she will pursue yet, she enjoys the challenge of welding but is keeping her options open. “I have the basic knowledge in six different trades, which is pretty incredible. At the end of the day I will go where my passion, and the jobs takes me.” Going through the program Stefanee is blown away by the comradery between her and her fellow Journeywoman Start classmates. “By the time we had been in class for a week it felt like we were friends for an entire lifetime, I am lucky to have the support of these women and WBF as I embark on my career.”


When Carrie thinks back to her life before WBF, she remembers it as a time when she needed a change. Her world had been turned upside down and life had given her lemons. During her time at WBF, she found the space she needed to build herself up and get the tools to succeed in her new career.

“I’m loving my career choice. As an electrician, I get to work with my hands, think, plan, and be creative and constructive. I love every minute of it. My proudest moment is when I complete a task and see how it started out being a few pieces of conduit pipe and wire, and it’s now something that turns on and off and gives light to current and future students and teachers in the school; it’s a product to be proud of.”