Durham College provides academic upgrading support for innovative millwrighting program for women

Durham College (DC) is supporting a ground-breaking joint initiative designed to help women enter the skilled trades by breaking down barriers, providing essential skills training and empowering women to thrive in a traditionally male-dominated industry.

Introduction to Millwrighting: 5-Week Program for Women was a joint initiative between the Millwright Regional Council and the national non-profit Build a Dream and supported by DC, Ontario Power Generation and UBC Millwright Local 2309 Toronto.

Starting in early February, 10 women received personalized support and training to prepare them to wright their millwright aptitude test so they could begin a millwright apprenticeship.

Sue Hawkins, Director of School College Work Initiative and Academic Upgrading at DC, explained that DC’s role was to provide academic upgrading support during the five-week program.

“This initiative is a testament to the power of partnerships among individuals passionate about breaking down barriers for women,” said Hawkins. “We are honoured to be part of such a ground breaking program that challenges stereotypes, fosters inclusivity, and paves the way for a brighter, more equitable future in the skilled trades industry.”

DC has supported similar programs in prior years, including a program to help Indigenous students enter the millwrighting trade.

Mya Benjamin was one of the participants who celebrated her graduation from the millwrighting program for women on March 8.

“As a proud participant of the Introduction to Millwrighting Program, I’ve not only acquired essential skills but also redefined what’s possible for women in the trades,” she said. “The program has empowered me to step confidently into a male-dominated field and make my mark. I’m grateful for the support and encouragement I’ve received, and I’m excited to pave the way for aspiring women in the trades, proving that gender is no barrier to success.”

Are you interested in a skilled trades career? Explore programs available at DC including our Mechanical Technician – Millwright program.

If you’re missing prerequisite courses for a college program, need help improving your grades or attaining your high school equivalency, consider DC’s free academic upgrading services. Learn more online or consider attending one of our upcoming information sessions.