EDMONTON, December 6, 2016 – Unifor, Canada’s largest union in the private sector, and Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada have come together on an initiative to provide 15 new $2,000 scholarships for women enrolled in NAIT’S apprenticeship programs.  The Awards are available for the 2016-2017 academic year and are being dispersed in five instalments.

“Statistics show that every year, an increasing number of young women pursue post-secondary education. However, they often choose to study in a relatively narrow range of fields,” says Stephanie Fuhrer, Women in Technology and Trades coordinator, NAIT. “These scholarships will help more women reach their goals of becoming skilled professionals.”

The scholarships are being awarded based on academic achievement and financial need, and are open to all female apprenticeship students who are attending NAIT in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th period of any apprenticeship program.

“Too often young women are streamed away from skilled trades. It is one thing to not choose a pathway to trade, it is another to face upfront barriers that minimize the trades as a viable opportunity,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “Unifor is proud to partner with        Coca-Cola and NAIT to help advance women into trades and offer financial support. We need industry partners, educational institutions and labour to work together to reduce barriers and create opportunities for women in skilled trades.”

“As we continue to grow our business, it is vitally important that we have a wide pool of skilled talent to bring into our organization,” said Stephen Satchel, Group Director, Human Resources and Labour Relations, Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada. “We are extremely excited to be working with NAIT and Unifor to not only help develop the next generation of skilled tradespeople but to also encourage women to continue to pursue non-traditional careers in skilled trades.”

“Alberta succeeds when women are full and equal participants in our society and economy. Partnerships like the one celebrated today will support and encourage women who seek rewarding careers in the skilled trades,” said Hon. Christina Gray, Minister of Labour.  “I’m proud of the ongoing contributions NAIT, Unifor, and Coca-Cola are making to recognize the strength and determination of women, and their contributions to our province and economy.”

"Empowering women to pursue and succeed in non-traditional careers benefits everyone. Women have different skills, ideas and perspectives," said Councillor Bev Esslinger. "These new scholarships will offer exciting professional opportunities for Edmonton women and help us strengthen our highly-skilled workforce."

“This scholarship could not have come at a better time,” said Katerina Sanders who is in the second year of her industrial insulating apprenticeship. “This scholarship is such a blessing. I already fell behind on bill payments because I wasn’t working while I was attending class. Now I have the help I need.”

More information can be found at www.nait.ca/scholarships.

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About NAIT
The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is a leading Canadian polytechnic, delivering education in science, technology and the environment; business; health and trades. With nearly 60,000 credit and non-credit students and a 95 per cent employer satisfaction rate, NAIT grads are essential to Alberta’s prosperity. Known for hands-on, technology-based learning, NAIT engages with business and industry in applied research and innovation and provides corporate training around the world. Recognized as one of Alberta’s top employers, NAIT provides outstanding returns on investment for its graduates, partners, the provincial government and the people of Alberta.

Follow us @NAIT and visit www.social.nait.ca

About Unifor

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers in every sector of the economy including 40,000 members in the skilled trades. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged.

For more information please visit www.unifor.org.

Follow us @UniforTheUnion

About Coca-Cola in Canada
Coca-Cola in Canada operates in all ten provinces, employs 6,300 people in more than 50 facilities, including six production facilities across Canada. We offer a wide variety of beverage brands, many of which come in no-calorie and low-calorie options. These beverages include sparkling soft drinks, still waters, juices and fruit beverages, sports drinks, energy drinks and ready-to-drink teas. We’re proud to offer some of the most popular brands in Canada including Coca-Cola®, Diet Coke®, Coca-Cola Zero®, Coca-Cola Life™, Sprite®, Fanta®, Nestea®, Powerade®, Minute Maid®, Dasani® and vitaminwater®. Coca-Cola in Canada is represented

by Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada and Coca-Cola Ltd. For more information about our Company, please visit www.coca-cola.ca or www.thecoca-colacompany.com.

Follow us @CocaColaCo_CA

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Jeff Cummings

NAIT

Office: 780-378-2815

Mobile: 780-916-8307

jcummings@nait.ca

Kathleen O’Keefe

Unifor

Mobile: 416-896-3303

Kathleen.OKeefe@unifor.org

Shannon Denny

Coca-Cola Ltd.

Office: 416-424-6373

Mobile: 647-637-2574

sdenny@coca-cola.com