Cambrian College Hosts Jill of All Trades Event on Campus

It was a week of hammering away at misconceptions about women pursuing rewarding careers in the skilled trades.

Elementary and secondary school girls from across Greater Sudbury tried their hands at various skilled trades as part of Jill of All Trades.

Today, Cambrian College hosted its annual Jill of All Trades event at its main campus in Greater Sudbury. The event was hosted in partnership with the Rainbow District School Board and the Sudbury Catholic District School Board.

“I love everything about Jill of All Trades and what it stands for,” says Paula Gouveia, Cambrian’s Vice-President Academic.  “There is a significant labour shortage in the skilled trades and gender is no barrier to filling those positions. These careers pay very well, and we want more young women to take advantage of the opportunities available in the skilled trades, now and in the foreseeable future.”

More than 150 elementary and secondary school girls from across Sudbury got first-hand experience in a variety of trades and technology, including automotive service, carpentry, chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, heating and air conditioning, heavy duty equipment, mechatronics, millwright, mining engineering, powerline, and welding and metal fabrication.

“The trades offer rewarding careers for all students,” says Bruce Bourget, Director of Education for Rainbow District School Board. “I thank Cambrian College for welcoming our students into their shops to explore the possibilities in this important sector of the economy.”

“As a school board, we are committed to providing learning opportunities for young women to embrace the skilled trades and to explore the many career options available to them,” says Joanne Bénard, Director of Education for the Sudbury Catholic District School Board. “We are proud to partner with Cambrian College and others to offer this opportunity. We look forward to seeing participating students continue to push the boundary in skilled trades as a worthwhile future pathway.”

Some of the teenagers attending Jill of all Trades this year went the extra mile to get ready: make that the extra metre! They successfully completed Working at Heights training to heighten their experience.

Jill of All Trades activities at Cambrian also included a panel discussion earlier in the week featuring women currently working or preparing for careers in the skilled trades. Panelists included:

  • Zoe Duhaime, Student, Powerline Technician Program, Cambrian.
  • Natasha Faucher, Senior Director of Business Development – Mining, Minerals & Metals, Corporate, Business Development, Worley.
  • Alex Kis, 310T Mechanic, Manitoulin Transport.
  • Kendra Liinamaa, Millwright Apprentice, Vale, and a Cambrian graduate.
  • Julia Salvalaggio, Manager of Human Resources, MacLean Engineering.
  • Lea Willemse, Smelter Environmental Superintendent, Glencore.

The Women in Trades panel discussion was held this week at Cambrian College, Taking part were (left to right): Kendra Liinamaa, Vale; Zoe Duhaime, student at Cambrian College; Julia Salvalaggio, MacLean Engineering; Lea Willemse, Glencore.

“We just have to go for it, we absolutely belong in the trades, and we are needed in the trades,” said panelist Natasha Faucher, who began her career performing geophysical surveys around the world for mining companies.

“As women, we bring a different way of thinking, we don’t problem-solve the same way, and that can be an advantage.”

Cambrian College thanks its many sponsors who supported Jill of All Trades this year, including providing nearly $10,000 in scholarships for students who enroll in the skilled trades.  Cambrian College will take this a step further by offering further financial incentives for women enrolling in trade programs year-round. You can find the list of sponsors at

Cambrian College offers more than 20 trades and technology courses.

Learn more at

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