Monday, February 10, 2014

BHR Clinics February and March 2014

Hi All,

The next two BHR are ready to go. Please have a look at the posters and pass them along.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Where is the Newsletter!?!?

 Well it is already February and I am sure our members are wondering…. WHERE IS THE NEWSLETTER!!

Hmmmm where is the newsletter? To be honest, the newsletter is a little behind at the moment. Not forgotten I promise, but due to some really exciting changes, its creation was put on the backburner. Not for long though, you should all see a copy in the next few week.

I’m sure by now you are all wondering what could possibly be so exciting that the news letter was put aside…. Believe me, it was worth it!

There are a few that I am going to announce right now.

Get ready for SaskWITT on Facebook! That’s right, as of sometime mid-February SaskWITT will have a Facebook page. We are really, very excited and you can be sure we are hoping you will all view and like our page. It will have all sorts of lovely things like links to other organizations, to our corporate members, and best of all, it will be a place to organize. . .

SaskWITT Fun Nights. Starting this month we will be organizing fun nights for SaskWITT members. This month it will be bowling, but we are looking for suggestions for other activities that we can put on in other nights.

In other (perhaps not as fun, but just as exciting) news, BHRs are opening up to the public. For those of you that are not familiar, BHR stands for Basic Home Repair. These are clinics that SaskWITT has been providing to SIAST and the University of Regina. It allows women to take clinics on basic plumbing, painting, drywalling, electrical repairs around the house. Starting in March, we will accepting contracts from companies and organizations, and the clinics will now also be open to men.

How about more opportunities to be involved with SaskWITT closer to home? For all of our members that don’t live in Regina, we are going to try and bring activities and programs to you! At the AGM in March we will be opening the floor for volunteers to open 2 Chapters in Saskatoon and Prince Albert.

And that’s not all…. But I will save the rest for the Newsletter and AGM, it will give you all something to look forward to though all of the cold winter weather we are suffering through.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Happy New Year, I have a feeling it is going to be a good one!

Hi All,

My name is Sarah and I have taken over the Executive Assistant role from Andrea. I know that the entire Board is very thankful for the work that Andrea accomplished, and wish her the very best in all of her future endeavors. I am also very grateful to Andrea for the excellent guidance that she gave me as I begin this new role.

The next year will be an exciting one for SaskWITT, and I am thrilled to be a part of it.

I look forward to meeting and working with you all!


Monday, October 28, 2013

Tour Reflections - Notes from the Road

Skills Work! 2013 Young Women's Conference

As we head home from our adventure north, here's a little bit about how it went... 

Day 1
- We woke up to big, wet snow flakes, first snow of the year for us in Regina.  Perfect timing for us to hit the road for a long day of driving, remembering the weather this time last year during our tour.  I picked up Robin Stuart, a long-time SaskWITT member and plumber/ refrigeration mechanic and we began our journey north in the early morning and were greeted by more snow.  Our day ahead of driving looked grim, long and exhausting.  Thankfully we were spared and the weather cleared as we approached Saskatoon and our sinking spirits were rescued.   

Joining us on our journey from Saskatoon – Courtney Einsiedler, our fearless tour planner from Skills Canada Saskatchewan and Diane West, also a long-time SaskWITT member, carpenter, and returning role model from our northern tour last year.  Together, crammed tightly between suitcases, coolers and boxes we continued to head north.  Sometime between Big River and Buffalo Narrows we spotted a lynx running in the ditch, and shortly after a beautiful cayote as well as deer, too many to count.  The weather held up for us the entire way to Buffalo Narrows and we settled into our accommodations for the night.  All the way down from Uranium City, we were met by Denise Bougie, a long-time SaskWITT member, tour vet, and electrician. 

Day 2 - In the sleepy dark hours of early morning the five of us somehow managed to squeeze into the vehicle with boxes, bags and suitcases on our laps, and at our feet.  Apparently we were still sleeping as we headed down the dark stretch of road, completely oblivious that we were headed in the wrong direction!  Once we sorted our bearings out (thank goodness!!), we still managed to get to our destination, La Loche, in good time and soon we were all set up and ready to go for the day.  Rounding out our team of trades-women we had Farrah Lemaigre, an apprentice electrician and Mandy Herman, an apprentice baker, join us, both La Loche locals and first-time role models. 

There were 33 girls who attended the conference in La Loche, some from the community itself as well as Buffalo Narrows and Birch Narrows Dene First Nation.   The girls ranged in age from 14 to 20 year-olds.  After some introductions we jumped right into a discussion about the trades with the girls.  For many of them we were defining ‘trades’ for the first time and they were surprised to discover all of the different trades available, some of the perks to working in the trades, and that they were just as capable as men to work in the trades. 

We wasted no time and soon had the girls trying out some tools and working one-on-one with our tradeswomen in our ‘try-a-trade’ stations.  Participants are cycled through a series of stations, and at each they make a ‘project’ to take home.  This year we had a ‘tile mosaic station’, which included working with mortar and forms and tile-setting and gave the girls an intro to working with concrete and the tile-setting trade.  At the end of the day the girls each took home their own uniquely personalized stepping stone.  We also had a plumbing station where the girls learned how to cut, file, and de-burr copper pipe; an electrical station where the girls worked with electrical wire and connectors; and a sheet metal station that had the girls cutting, bending, hammering, ‘punching’, ‘stamping’, and shaping their own personalized ‘charms’ out of metal.  The last stop in our series of stations was a games station, where the value of communication and problem-solving in the trades was incorporated into the program.
Robin Stuart - Plumbing Station

Stepping Stone "Tile Mosaics"
Andrea Dorosh and Diane West - Tile Mosaic Station
Denise Bougie - Sheet Metal Station
Farrah Lemaigre - Electrical Station
Mandy Herman and Courtney Einsiedler - Games Station

We sent the girls home with lots of brochures, information, their projects, and hopefully, inspiration!  The feedback we received from both the chaperones and girls suggested the day was a huge success, and already we were being asked when we could come back!  We all left with big smiles that evening and headed off to our next destination, Beauval.

Day 3 – Nearly the same number of girls (32) attended the conference in Beauval, this time from Beauval as well as Waterhen Lake, Canoe Lake First Nation, Pinehouse Lake, and Jans Bay.  This time we had girls ranging in age from 14 years old to 27.  The day unravelled much the same as in La Loche, we seemed to be reaching the girls and snagging their attention, so much that one of the chaperones later told us:
"I have never seen these girls so captivated ever! They really enjoyed it!"
Again, there was lots of interest in future conferences.  We left with a sense of accomplishment, and felt as though we had in fact had a positive impact on the girls.  

Beauval - Set up and ready to go!

Teams of girls with their role models

Try-A-Trade Stations in Action

Some other comments we received from participants and chaperones – 
“Great ideas came out of the stations, great information was shared. I understood everything that they had to say!”
“I learned about a few different trades that seemed interesting. I would actually look into one of these trades in the future.”
“The hands on work actually helped me understand what the trades are all about.”
“The role models were cool to talk to and very nice. It was nice to have them available for questions about the trades they work in.”
“It was awesome! It gave me more opportunities. More doors opened to me!”
“It’s nice to see apprenticeship women encouraging other women to work in the trades. It’s also nice to see we don’t have to live in a male dominated world anymore. Back home I am also a woman that likes to do male work outdoors.”
 “The hands on stations were very well attended. The girls were very involved.”
“Love the expert/student bonding at tables.”
“Superb hands on activities, girls were engaged/great info sharing by experts.”
“Very effective information!”
“Great to have this program in Northern communities, not everyone is able to attend workshops in the South.”
We said our goodbyes to some of the role models and those of us from the province’s south spent our last night in the north at Sandy Beach Resort.  We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome for the tour, not-to-mention what a difference it made to have Mother Nature on our side this year! 

Day 4 - We are lucky to spot a wolf, black in color in the ditch, a beautiful farewell from the north as we head home.  There is a sense of community and support felt not only amongst each other, but through the new connections we have made in the north, and the new friendships we have created. 

Role Models (left to right): Mandy Herman, Farrah Lemaigre, Diane West,
Robin Stewart, Andrea Dorosh and Denise Bougie
Thank you to everyone who participated in and supported this event!  I believe we have made a difference in people’s lives and the communities we have reached on this tour.

Many thanks to our sponsor’s who made this event possible:

“Life is short, live bold! Be heard, be you,
dream big, take risks,
don’t wait.”
– Misty Gibbs
Posted by: Andrea Dorosh

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Skills Work! 2013

We are heading up to Northern Saskatchewan once again this year on tour to 'bring the trades' to young women and girls. 

On Oct.22nd and 23rd our team of Saskatchewan tradeswomen will journey to La Loche and Beauval, SK to deliver two full-day activity-based career sessions to assist young women to assess their suitability for careers in skilled trades. 

Skills Work! Young Women’s Conferences encourage young women to consider careers in the skilled trades by educating them on these areas, providing them with career information and exposing them to tradeswomen who serve as role models and demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in the skilled trades and technologies. The purpose of these conferences is to break down social barriers that prevent women from entering more “male dominated” trades and technologies and to get rid of the misconception that women aren’t suitable for these occupations.  

In a non-threatening environment, surrounded by other women, these young girls are invited to participate in several interactive try-a-trade stations that develop their hands-on skills using a variety of tools and materials. Not only do these young women have the opportunity to gain confidence in their unique skills and abilities, they have fun while doing it! They also have the chance to speak with Saskatchewan tradeswomen who serve as role models and provide insight into their real life experiences working in careers in skilled trades and technologies. 

Stay tuned for tour updates and photos!

Skills Work! 2013 is brought to you by Skills Canada, SIAST and SaskWITT.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

SaskWITT Gets Down to Business! & Celebrates International Women's Day

On March 23 SaskWITT's Annual General Meeting was held in conjunction with "Take Your Daughters to WITT Day", in celebration of International Women's Day, at SIAST's Wascana Campus in Regina.  Part business, part fun, each year SaskWITT members are invited to join the board of directors in their annual general meeting followed by lunch and a fun-activity-filled afternoon.  Attending members that qualify as WITT women take part and are eligible to vote in the organization's annual voting process, whereby important business decisions such as changes to the board of director's are discussed and collectively decided upon. 

After this year's votes SaskWITT proudly presents: 

SaskWITT's 2013 Board of Directors -

Roxanne Ecker – Provincial Coordinator
Rhealene Wagner - Secretary
Pat Fayant - Treasurer
Anna Kwasnica - SIAST WITT Facilitator
Kim Andreas - Member at Large / CCWEST & CAF Representative
Marral Thomson - Member at Large
Tanya Kuziak - Member at Large
Once business matters were dealt with, it was nothing but fun for the rest of the day... 

Members were invited to bring their daughters, nieces, granddaughters and/or other young women in their life to have lunch and partake in the afternoon's workshop.  What resulted was a dynamic group of women and girls, with the younger participants ranging in age from 6 to 20 years old. 

The workshop was designed with two objectives in mind, both celebrating this year's International Women's Day 'Mentoring' Theme.  These were to:
  • Train women to deliver WITT programs
  • Deliver WITT programs to girls  

'Take Your Daughters to WITT Day' Participants

The stations and activities included:

  • Plumbing - making copper rings by cutting and filing pipe
  • Electrical – making bracelets by cutting and stripping wire and crimping with various connectors
  • Sheet Metal – making charms for bracelets by cutting flashing and creating designs with punches
  • Carpentry – making forms by assembling plywood boxes with screws
  • Tilesetting / Concrete finishing – making stepping stones with mortar and tiles
  • Problem Solving – a series of written career and math activities borrowed from a number of resources that SaskWITT has developed over the years.  (These are often used as time fillers in our programs.)
  • Tool Trunk Project – 12 stations specifically designed for 5 – 7 year olds
It was a unique day of learning for everyone involved!  There were women familiar with delivering the activities, those who had no experience at all, and young girls ready to work with tools and participate in the activities themselves.  Women trained other women on how to set-up and deliver the activities, and then those budding trainees were given opportunities to deliver the activities to the younger participants.  Despite the potential for chaos to arise from such a layered learning approach, the afternoon flew by effortlessly! 

Special Thanks to all our participants and everyone who helped out with this event.  We also extend our gratitude to the following organizations for their generous contributions that made this event possible!

For more information about how you can get involved in events like these, send us an email at: