Claire & Jolene - Alberta Human Services - Government of Alberta
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Claire & Jolene

Trading up to a better career

Photograph of Claire, Jolene and a manClaire and Jolene left their reserve in Manitoba and moved to Medicine Hat hoping to find an employer willing to train them as apprentices. They didn’t find any and instead found themselves working survival jobs to make ends meet.

Undeterred, Claire and Jolene completed the Pre-Employment Trades program offered by Saamis Aboriginal Employment and Training Association and were hired by Curtis G. Welding in Brooks.

In addition to gaining the welding skills they needed to be hired, Jolene strengthened her academic skills so she could pass the Alberta Industry and Trades entrance exam. Jolene and Claire are the first women off their reserve to be employed in the trades and the community is proud of them both.

As a single mom to a young toddler, Jolene is proud of her accomplishments and said, “it was important for me to be a mentor for my daughter—to show her to never give up on your dream and that women can be successful in the trades”.

“I work with a great team and they are helping Jolene and I to get the support we need to learn and advance in our trade. This is the best thing I have ever done,” said Claire.

Funding for the program is provided by: Community Futures Treaty Seven, Rupertsland Institute – Metis Training to Employment as well as co-funded by the Government of Canada and Government of Alberta – Alberta Works. For information on the trades, visit

Modified: 2015-04-07
PID: 18022