Media Release - Real Deal on Skilled Trades

The Real Deal on Skilled Trades: A Women in Trades Event

Avon Maitland District School Board hosted its annual women in trades event, The Real Deal on Skilled Trades, during the evening of June 15, 2023. Thirty-four students from all eight of their high schools attended the event along with a significant adult of their choice. The students and their guests enjoyed a meal, heard from nine local female mentors and participated in a hands-on multi-trade workshop. 

This event was supported through special funding by the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) in order to support students who identify as female. The goal is to promote the top 14 skilled trades where women are historically underrepresented as well as to provide opportunities for students to hear from female  journeypersons about their careers in the skilled trades. 
The mentors who spoke on the panel and assisted the students and their guests during the workshop are all local to Huron and Perth counties, either growing up here or working locally in the trades. Amanda Lawson, Electrician and graduate of St. Marys DCVI, spoke about the importance of sharing her experiences with students. “I wish I would have known about programs like OYAP when I was in high school. Being able to share my story with students can hopefully help them to get the most out of their high school before they graduate.”
Grade 10 student from Listowel District High School, Lily Armstrong, felt that hearing from the mentors was really meaningful for her. “Listening to the mentors and hearing how they got into the trades was helpful because it gave me an idea of what my next steps should be.”
OYAP Recruiter, Jodi Froud, said, “This year we changed the format of the event to include a significant adult to accompany each student. We wanted this event to be about sharing an experience together and for all of our participants to be able to hear from our amazing female mentors about their successes, challenges, and how they overcame them. We want all of our students in Avon Maitland to know that a career in the skilled trades can be for them. The Real Deal on Skilled Trades event allows students and their support systems an opportunity to delve deeper into the idea of pursuing a career in the skilled trades.”
For more information on OYAP and other pathways programming offered at the Avon Maitland District School board, visit
For more information, please contact:
Chera Longston
Manager of Communications and Public Relations
519-301-6363 (cell)