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Social media used to help student interested in the trades

February 6, 2024

GUELPH, ON – For decades, women of the skilled trades have had to wear ill-fitting gear that isn’t built for the female body, as a result, some women are discouraged from entering the trades as a career path.

Recently a female Upper Grand DSB student approached teacher Geoff Patterson with an interest in welding but was unable to find a pair of work boots small enough to safely begin her welding journey.

Immediately, Patterson began the search by contacting Director of Competitions and Business Development at Skills Ontario, Jennifer Green, stating that he had a “young lady that wants to get into Welding but has a size one foot. Any thoughts on where she would find a pair of work boots?” Patterson continued to say, “It would be a real shame for her not to be able to follow a Trade because of footwear.”

After hearing from Patterson, Green took to LinkedIn to put a call out for this student asking about CSA rated steel-toed boots in this small size. In just two short weeks, Green’s post saw 40,000 views, 371 likes, 69 comments with leads, and 33 reposts. This post reached far beyond Ontario with people from all over Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States reaching out to assist.

It’s amazing to see the community rally together to help a student in need, especially in the hope of not discouraging her from pursuing her dream of welding.

To date, this student is still without appropriate footwear, but her dedicated teacher is still on the hunt! We’re hopeful that we will hear news soon regarding this search for work boots and hope that this amazing story of a community coming together, inspires more women to enter the trades.

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