Skip Header Navigation

About RBC > Media Newsroom > News Releases > Thompson Rivers University receives a $700,000 grant from RBC Foundation to launch the RBC Women in Trades Training Program

Thompson Rivers University receives a $700,000 grant from RBC Foundation to launch the RBC Women in Trades Training Program

Will help provide bursaries and mentorship to women enrolled in trades programs

KAMLOOPS, BC, February 12, 2014 - Women often face financial challenges that can affect their decision to pursue training in the trades. The combined high costs of daycare, food, rent and tuition often deter them from furthering their education.

That’s why RBC Foundation is committing $700,000 to support women enrolled in trades programs at Thompson Rivers University (TRU).  This is the largest donation RBC has made in BC, outside of the Lower Mainland,   The donation  will fund the RBC Women in Trades Training Program, including:

  • The RBC Bursary for Learning Success:  Each academic year, seven students will receive a$3,000 bursary based on need, academic performance and commitment.   Over a ten-year period, 70 bursaries will be awarded.
  • The RBC Leadership Training program for volunteer mentors:  A team of six women, comprising students, apprentices, and journeypersons, will be trained as volunteer mentors to help guide women enrolled in TRU trades programs on an ongoing basis.
  • An RBC Mentorship Coordinator: This position will support and guide women enrolled in trades programs at TRU.

“The advancement of women within the workforce and in their communities is a key focus for RBC,” said Graham MacLachlan, Regional President, BC, RBC.  “Skilled tradespeople are in great demand all across Canada.  The RBC Women in Trades Training Program will help women overcome the financial barriers to training for a new career, while helping address a critical skills gap in British Columbia.”

“Trades training at TRU is one of our traditional foundations and an integral part of how this university serves the needs of the province,” said Alan Shaver, TRU President and Vice-Chancellor. “This gift to TRU’s Foundation Trades program will build the economic capacity of women, thus improving their lives, the lives of their families and their communities.”

For Kayla Goertzen, a mother of three, the support from RBC means that instead of worrying about her disabled daughter’s future, or poor health affecting her husband’s ability to work steadily, she can concentrate on learning the principals of the piping trade. A practical-minded 32-year-old, Kayla says she’ll move her family wherever they need to be so she can have a steady job applying her new trade. “This support from RBC is going to make sure I can help provide for our family. A steady job in a skilled trade is going to make all the difference for our family.”

About TRU
TRU educates 13,170 learners on campus and 11,794 by distance and online, providing a total of 24,125 students with access to excellence. The diverse student body is 11 percent Aboriginal, and includes 2,589 international students from more than 85 countries, enriching the campus culturally and academically. Students can choose from 140 on-campus programs and 57 Open Learning programs, from trades to traditional academics, certificates to bachelor and graduate degrees, academic as well as professional career paths, plus a growing number of interdisciplinary choices. TRU proactively supports students in achieving their individual academic and career aspirations, and offers opportunities beyond the classroom such as coop, service learning, and undergraduate research to enrich the learning experience.

About RBC’s Commitment to Community and Sustainability
Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) is Canada's largest bank and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We employ approximately 79,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 44 other countries. For more information, please visit RBC is recognized among the world’s financial, social and environmental leaders and is listed on the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the DJSI North American Index, the Jantzi Social Index and the FTSE4Good Index. RBC is one of Canada’s Greenest Employers, and one of Canada’s 50 Most Socially Responsible Corporations.

RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2013, we contributed more than $104 to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $69 million and $35 million in sponsorships. Learn more at

- 30 -

For more information, please contact:

Ian Colvin, Senior Manager, Communications, RBC, Tel: 604-369-4031
Christopher Seguin, Vice-president Advancement, Thompson Rivers University, Tel: 250-574-0474
Lindsay Langill, Dean, TRU School of Trades and Technology, Tel: 250-828-5110