It was a productive 2022 for the West End Home Builders’ Association (WE HBA), which introduced major initiatives to its members and the local community. In addition to existing support to the Mohawk College Awards Program, WE HBA added a brand-new Mohawk College Scholarship for a student in Skilled Trades, in partnership with Cogeco. The association also made major steps towards supporting the YWCA in Hamilton and donated $10,000 to support the building of the Putman Family YWCA, Hamilton’s first affordable permanent housing residence for single and mother-led families.

It also created a non-partisan alliance, HamiltoNEXT, in partnership with the Hamilton-Halton Construction Association and the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington. The team and group of volunteers engaged residents at community events and neighbourhood activities, asking Hamiltonians what their vision of their city is and what their expectations are from the new council and mayor. The alliance efforts were supported by a print and digital campaign and caught the attention of the media numerous times.

In October, WE HBA partnered with Mohawk College and the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) for an educational showcase that offered 100 young women and gender-diverse individuals in Grades 7 and 8 the opportunity to learn about rewarding career possibilities in residential construction, skilled trades and STEM industries. The WEBUILD showcase consisted of a full day of interactive workshop sessions, tours of Mohawk Campus and an inspiring session with Shannon Tymosko, an apprentice and advocate for the skilled trades. 

“Women make up only 13% of the total workforce in construction, and only 5% of skilled trades workers,” noted Bianca Bruzzese, WE HBA president. “The WE HBA Women in Industry (WIN) Committee is advocating for positive, cultural change that will increase inclusion and gender diversity in the residential construction industry.” 

During the event, the students had the opportunity to visit different booths hosted by community partners and WEHBA members, including Heartwood Renovations, Cachet Homes, Dynamic Heating & Cooling, Losani Homes), Milwaukee Tool, Reimar Forming Construction, Riverside Millwork Group, Gateway Group), York1), Guest Plumbing & Heating and the YWCA.  

The event was supported by WE HBA partners BDO, Bell, Enbridge, Molinaro Group and T. Johns Consulting. 

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