Media Release

March 14, 2013

Minister Highlights the Achievements of Newfoundland and Labrador
Housing Corporation’s First Female Carpenter

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Joan Shea, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills:

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today to highlight the achievements of an employee of Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation.

Shauna Sutton, a native of English Harbour West, is the first female carpenter ever hired by the corporation. What sets Ms. Sutton apart is not her gender, but the example she puts forward as a mentor to other young women wishing to pursue a career in the trades here in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Ms. Sutton’s record of achievement began while enrolled at the Carpenters Millwright College in Paradise in 2008, where she won the school’s Award of Excellence for education, leadership and safety skills. In 2009 she became the first female apprentice registered with the Office to Advance Women Apprentices, and the first to find employment with Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation.

Recently, she joined other female tradespeople selected from across North America by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters to take part in a three-day female mentorship program in Las Vegas.

Ms. Sutton is a committed mentor, volunteering time to appear at high schools as a demonstrator for Skills Canada intermediate competitions, and visiting community centres to speak to female youth about her career path. She has also been blessed with terrific mentors in her own life, including family, co-workers and instructors.

Mr. Speaker, a carpenter of Ms. Sutton’s experience and skills could likely find employment abroad, however she has made a conscious choice to stay and contribute to the growth of our province through affordable housing construction and mentorship to young women pursuing careers in the trades.

Ms. Sutton is a shining example of the incredible time of opportunity for women in Newfoundland and Labrador – especially when it comes to opportunities in the skilled trades. In fact, Mr. Speaker, since 2009, the number of women enrolled in skilled trades in the province has grown by 33 per cent.

Through innovative programs, such as our Journeyperson Mentorship Program, we are increasing job opportunities in the skilled trades – particularly for under-represented groups, including women.

I invite my colleagues in this Honourable House to join me in congratulating Ms. Sutton for her contributions and to wish her all the best on her upcoming journeyperson exam.

Thank you.