Sometimes the Office to Advance Women Apprentices brings the tradeswomen to the employers, sometimes the tradeswoman brings the employers to the office!
Forge Construction, a Winnipeg-based renovation and remodelling company and its sister company, Superb Sprinkler Services, are owned by Steve Kikukawa. The Forge side is fairly new and focuses on residential and smaller commercial projects and is growing quickly! In 2019, Steve hired Donna Mathieson as Forge’s Supervisor. A carpenter with more than 15 years experience, Donna came across the Office to Advance Women Apprentices and was curious what the organization could do to help her thrive in her career.
Onward and Upward
As Donna and Steve began to staff up Forge for the season, they reached out to the office to recruit carpenters.
“It was helpful to be able to reach out to the office, let them know what we were looking for and receive resumes to consider,” says Donna..
Hands-On and Hands Up!
According to project co-ordinator Andrea Canada, the office is hands-on even after the referral.
“We stay in communication with the employer as well as the tradeswoman in order to facilitate a smooth employment experience for both,” she says, explaining that retention support is critical for the success of the partnership and the tradeswomen.
Through site visits, telephone and in-person check-ins, the Office supports ongoing retention of tradeswomen. Working with companies like Forge, who recognize the strengths tradeswomen bring to the workplace, is what it’s all about.
Steve says as a company owner committed to diversity and inclusion, he sees great value in the contributions that workers with different backgrounds, genders and ages bring to the workplace. “I want employees that bring their unique talents and perspectives to the job. I think it just makes us a stronger company,” he says.