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Foundation makes whopping $1.3M donation to Camosun to support women in trades

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The Gwyn Morgan and Patricia Trottier Foundation has donated nearly $1.3 million to Camosun College to help women pursue a career in the trades.

The $1.28 million donation is going to Camosun's unique Empowering Women in the Trades program, and will be distributed over the next five years.

The program helps students in a range of areas, from financial support to assistance with transportation, child care, equipment and tool protection, and other living expenses.

The program also offers networking and mentorship opportunities, as well as one-on-one support.

The ultimate goal is to allow more women to complete their Red Seal certification in their desired trade, according to Camosun.

"Given the opportunity, a career in the trades can be life-altering for women, who unfortunately have historically faced obstacles," said Patricia Trottier, of the Gwyn Morgan and Patricia Trottier Foundation.

"At a time when Canada is facing a skilled trades shortage impacting almost every industry and employer, it is critical that women are given the chance to help close the skills gap and achieve their own personal and professional goals," she said.

The donation, announced Thursday, is actually the second time the foundation has supported Camosun College in the trades education industry.

In 2017, the foundation helped launch the Empowering Women in the Trades program with a $1-million donation.

"We saw the tremendous impact the first gift had on the lives of women over the last five years and how it encouraged more women to enter trades, so it made sense to do it again," said Gwynn Morgan.

Since 2017, more than 1,000 women who were involved in the program have gone on to pursue careers in the trades, including in industries like carpentry, welding, automotive maintenance and professional cooking.

Some alumni of the program have also returned to Camosun as instructors.

"The generous support of donors like the Gwyn Morgan and Patricia Trottier Foundation is making a life-changing difference to women seeking to complete Red Seal apprenticeships. Thank you," said Camosun president Lane Trotter.

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