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New Graduates of Pioneering Upskilling Program for Women Start New Jobs in Skilled Trades at J.D. Irving, Limited

SAINT JOHN, NB:  Today 9 women of diverse ages and backgrounds celebrate their graduation from the Skilled Trades Exploration Program for Women (STEPW) at NBCC Saint John.  The program is a partnership between J.D. Irving, Limited (JDI), New Boots and the Government of New Brunswick.  

Focused on upskilling, the new graduates will start work immediately at better paying jobs that J.D. Irving, Limited has guaranteed.   This effort builds on the successful program pioneered by JDI at the Halifax Shipyard in partnership with Women Unlimited.  

On Tuesday, the STEPW graduates will begin as paid apprentices at JDI in their chosen industrial trades as they complete the required blocks to become a journey person.  Participating JDI companies include NB Southern Railway, Universal Truck and Trailer (UTT), Custom Fabricators and Machinists (CFM), Woodlands, and Irving Equipment.  In some cases, after a block is completed, the apprentice has to look for new work.  JDI will provide continuous work placements through the blocks and a guaranteed job on successful completion. 



"Today is such an exciting day for all of us in the STEPW program.  We’re graduating into new futures in the trades and there’s no words to express how grateful and thankful we are to New Boots and J.D. Irving for these life-changing opportunities.”
Jean MacDonald
STEPW Graduate and new electrician with NB Southern Railway

“New Boots is proud of the partnership it has built with the Government of New Brunswick and J.D. Irving. to offer this first STEPW initiative in our great province. We are very happy to have 9 women successfully completing this skilled trade exploration program this week and starting their new careers within JDI divisions as apprentices. With this successful first cohort, we are looking forward to the continuation of STEPW and our collaboration with our great partners that have made this possible. “
Hélène Savoie-Louis
Director of New Boots 
MAP Strategic Workforce Services Inc. (MAPSWS)

“NBCC has a long tradition of working with private and public sector partners to help address New Brunswick’s labour market demands. As we seek to welcome more learners, partners like PETL, New Boots and JDI Limited are helping us ensure that women are encouraged to participate in all sectors of the economy.”
Catherine Black
Dean, Trades and Hospitality
Regional Director, Moncton
New Brunswick Community College

“First and foremost, our hiring strategy at JDI is about keeping New Brunswickers home.  Investing in people who want to build their skills to achieve a rewarding career - and a better pay cheque - is part of that commitment.  We can’t do it without great partners.  I want to thank New Boots, NBCC and the Province for their commitment to this great program.”
Colleen Baxter
Vice President Human Resources

J.D. Irving, Limited

 STEPW Graduates 2019
 Seated (left to right): Chelsea Savoie, Taylor Cook, Jean MacDonald, Monica Bell
 2nd Row (left to right): Kayla Debow, Hillari VanWart, Danielle McGavney, Heather Landry, Maggie Gray




Mary Keith
Vice President Communications
J.D. Irving, Limited
(506) 632-5122 W       
(506) 650-8209 C