Large-scale projects such as shipbuilding and offshore exploration will bring a large demand for skilled workers and a boom in opportunities for women in non-traditional careers. Marilyn More, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education, along with Nan Armour, chair of the Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering, Science, Trades and Technology (CCWESTT), and industry representatives, officially launched the CCWESTT conference at Irving Shipbuilding, today, Jan. 27. “We are thrilled to host this national conference,” said Ms. More. “We are committed to increasing the participation of women in science, engineering, trades and technology. To accomplish this, we have to work in partnership with industry, educational institutions, community organizations and unions to provide opportunities for women in non-traditional careers. This is yet another example of jobsHere, our plan to create good jobs and grow the economy, in action.” The biennial conference, which will take place in Halifax for the first time May 3-5, will attract more than 300 participants from across Canada. “The theme for the conference is Inspiring a SeaChange … Moving Forward Together,” said Ms. Armour. “Although we are making progress, there are many barriers facing women in these non-traditional careers. Having the conference here in Halifax provides women and employers with a wonderful opportunity to work together to remove these barriers and help women to fully participate in jobs such as trades and engineering. “It will also enable employers to address skills shortages in these fields.” “I am confident that, together with our partners, we can move forward so that girls and women can choose to have a viable and accessible career in science, engineering, trades and technology,” said Ms. More. For more information on the CCWESTT conference, visit www.ccwestt2012.ca.