The IBEW 993 Women’s Committee partnered with the Women in Trades Training (WITT) at the Thompson Rivers University. The partnership’s goal was to complete electrical upgrades at the Women’s Shelter.
Alison Klie, a member of the IBEW 993 Women’s committee and Red Seal Electrician, started organizing the project in 2019. Along with everything else, COVID-19 put a damper on fundraising. Things started rolling again early in 2021 when the IBEW 993 Women’s Committee partnered with WITT, along with the support of Houle Electric and Greensleeves Electric in Kamloops.
Red Seal Electricians Alison Klie, Chandra Basil-Dugas, Angeline Camille, and Mollie Routledge from IBEW Local 993 along with Amber Cachelin RSE Women in Trades Coordinator and instructor Amie Schellenberg RSE Electrical instructor at TRU for the program WITT program. mentored the students from the TRU Witt program. The team worked with the students to change out plugs, switches, and light fixtures to update the building. Storage and utility room lights were changed from single incandescent bulb fixtures to LED strip lights, making the rooms brighter and safer to work in. A new doorbell system was installed so that chimes could be heard throughout the building. The finishing touch was a fun airplane light fixture installed in the kid’s common room.
The project was an opportunity for the women to gain hands-on skills in the field while giving back to the community. Due to the confidentiality of this project, as well as with keeping the respect of the clientele in mind, the project was 100% female lead from supervisors, electricians, workers, and staff. This full-circle moment of education gave empowerment not only to the women who worked on the project, but those who will see the electrical changes put in by women learning new skills.