Windsor

'It feels normal': 25 women graduating from millwright apprenticeship through WEST

Twenty-five women are graduating from a CNC industrial mechanic millwright pre-apprenticeship program provided by WEST of Windsor, Inc. 

'I was on the edge of discovering something new'

As a single mother of three, Rebecca Chenier was tempted to take a different job with an immediate paycheque. Instead, she went into the six month program offered by WEST. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

Twenty-five women are graduating from a CNC industrial mechanic millwright pre-apprenticeship program provided by Women's Enterprise Skills Training (WEST) of Windsor, Inc. 

WEST breaks down barriers for women in a non-traditional industry by providing free tuition for their St. Clair College programs, free child care and even bus tickets to help with transportation. 

"It feels almost normal now," said Rebecca Chenier, one of the graduating students who works with electrodes, writes programs and reads blueprints.

But four-years-ago, Chenier was starting over. As a single mother of three, Chenier was tempted to take a different job with an immediate paycheque. 

Instead she went to a six-month apprenticeship program through WEST. 

Rebecca Chenier works with electrodes, writes programs and reads blueprints. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

"It was really exciting. I was on the edge of discovering something new," said Chenier. "I feel like I made the right choice."

Chenier said it was overwhelming, but she decided to just go for it and now she's almost done her machinist apprenticeship at CentreLine. She still has an exam to write, but she's grateful for the unique opportunity the WEST program offered her. 

"It's a lot of work," said Chenier. "WEST can take you so far, but the rest is up to you."

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