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The new Elevate Aviation Learning Centre at Edmonton International Airport provides immersive, authentic aviation experiences in real industry settings. The program, designed for youth between the ages of 15 to 24, is the first of its kind in Canada and promotes Elevate Aviation’s mission to provide a platform for women to thrive and succeed through aviation.
The goal of this work is to:
- Help youth become aware of the options available in the aviation industry and how to access the opportunities;
- Assist employers in engaging more women and under-represented communities and meeting the needs of their own workforce by directly connecting with participants; and
- Provide mentors after the workshops to assist in the necessary next steps to ensure success.
The historic programming is a result of collaboration between Elevate Aviation and industry partners such as Edmonton International Airport, Nav Canada, Edmonton Flying Club, Canadian North, North Cariboo Air, the Royal Canadian Air Force and technology partners.
“The aviation industry is facing a significant labour shortage. The exposure and recruiting opportunities these career exploration workshops will offer will be huge for the industry,” said Kendra Kincade, an air traffic controller and founder and chair of Elevate Aviation, the non-profit organization that created the workshops. “Our vision is to be a primary provider of aviation career support for women, working alongside industry professionals to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.”
The program also received $236,000 in grant funding through the Alberta Labour Market Partnership program, which is provided in partnership by the Government of Canada through the Canada Job Grant.
“I am proud to support good jobs for women in aviation. We need more women in this sector and it’s a smart investment in Alberta’s economic future,” said Christina Gray, Minister of Labour. “I thank Elevate Aviation for creating this opportunity and look forward to seeing many successes in the program.”
Workshops will take place in industry settings to immerse participants in authentic experiences, allowing for workforce development at an early level. Industry partners recognize the opportunity these workshops have to provide direct access to participants and highlight employment opportunities within their own companies. Learning becomes a collaborative effort between presenters and participants.
“We are promoting this progressive and creative method of encouraging and recruiting women and under represented groups into dynamic careers in the aviation sector,” said Tom Ruth, president and CEO of Edmonton International Airport. “I am thrilled to see that this program has a focus on engaging participants from rural, urban and indigenous communities.”
While women make up approximately 50 per cent of the Canadian population, less than 5 per cent of commercial pilots are women, just 16 per cent are air traffic controllers fewer than 11 per cent are aerospace engineers.