Human Resources, Labour and Employment
April 25, 2008

Province Provides Funding for Women in Science and Engineering

The Provincial Government is committed to helping young women achieve success in science and engineering. The Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, today announced $42,000 in funding for Women in Science and Engineering Newfoundland and Labrador (WISE NL) on the occasion of the release of the organization's Student Summer Employment Program (SSEP) evaluation report. The event was held today at the Inco Innovation Centre, Memorial University. The funds will be used to support a program co-ordinator and operating requirements of the highly successful Student Summer Employment Program (SSEP).

"Young women who take part in this program gain confidence in making informed decisions regarding their future career choices," said Minister Skinner. "Results from a recent evaluation of their Student Summer Employment Program support the need for a program co-ordinator. Our government is pleased to provide funding in support of this important objective.

The SSEP enables Level II female students to work as research assistants in science, engineering and technology areas at Memorial University. The eight-week program is offered at the St. John�s campus and Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Corner Brook. Students engage in workplace exposure tours and career exploration. They receive mentoring through WISE NL. In 2008, a section of the program will focus on female youth in Labrador.

Between 2004 and 2006, the number of females in full-time, under-graduate studies in engineering and applied science increased by 15 per cent. The Provincial Government is also working to increase the number of females in the skilled trades, another sector traditionally dominated by men. Since 2004, the number of women registering for apprenticeship programs is up by 35 per cent.

About 20 years ago, Women in Science and Engineering Newfoundland and Labrador developed the award winning Student Summer Employment Program, and since that time over 600 participants from all areas of Newfoundland and Labrador have completed the program, with much higher than national average rates for completion of their education," said Erica Lester, President of WISE NL. It is rewarding to know that our efforts have made a significant difference to the lives of young Newfoundland and Labrador women."

WISE NL is a not-for-profit, voluntary network working to promote women in science and engineering careers. The mission is to increase awareness of the professional, rewarding and exciting options available for women. WISE NL provides mentoring, professional development and networking opportunities to facilitate the success of women in these fields.

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Media contact:

Ed Moriarity
Director of Communications
Department of Human Resources,
Labour and Employment
709-729-4062, 728-9623
Erica Lester
Women in Science and Engineering Newfoundland and Labrador
709-745-7121, 690-8166 

2008 04 25                                                     2:55 p.m.


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