A two-year Research and Innovation Grant to the Momentum Community Economic Development Society’s latest program is aimed at helping more women enter and succeed in the IT sector. The program is now accepting applications and will start May 2, 2022.

AWS re/START, from Amazon Web Services, is a skills development program that prepares unemployed and underemployed people for careers in the tech sector while also connecting them to future employers. Momentum reached out to Amazon Web Services to offer the program in Calgary with a focus on training women.

This is the first time in Canada re/START will be focused on female participants.

“We are pleased to partner with Momentum on this exciting program to help more women advance their skills in the information technology sector. The skills demands of employers are rapidly changing, and our government is committed to ensuring Albertans are equipped with the skills they need for the future. This investment is key to Alberta’s economic recovery and the Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs strategy.”

Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education

“For Alberta’s tech industry to flourish women and girls need to help write the next great chapter, code and formula in our provinces’ story. Through this partnership with Momentum, Alberta’s government is helping women build fulfilling, high-paying careers in the technology sector. Making training and mentorship more accessible to more women while fulfilling the technology sector’s workforce needs are investments in Alberta’s bright future.”

Whitney Issik, Associate Minister of Status of Women

“This grant allows Momentum to offer a program that removes barriers many unemployed and underemployed women face as they dream of building a career in tech, a dream where having your head in “the cloud” is an asset.”

Donna McBride, director of operations, Momentum

Industry and community working together for successful outcomes

Amazon Web Services will provide the curriculum, labs and a learning management system for the delivery of re/Start. Momentum will connect potential learners, mainly under and unemployed women in the Calgary area, to help address barriers that could limit their access and facilitate a convenient and participant-centred environment. Chic Geek, a Calgary-based mentoring organization that focuses on building gender diversity in IT, will provide mentorship and career path supports.

“Chic Geek exists to build gender diversity in technology. Technology is shaping the world we live in and training programs like AWS re/Start help women take ownership over their trajectory as they begin careers in technology."

Kylie Woods, founder & executive director, Chic Geek

The Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs strategy is a transformational vision and direction for Alberta’s higher education system. It will develop a highly skilled and competitive workforce, strengthen research innovation and commercialization, and forge stronger relationships between employers and post-secondary institutions.

Quick facts

  • Exponential growth in the information technology sector is already happening in Canada, yet women hold only 26 per cent of tech jobs.
  • According to Chic Geek, women hold 60 per cent of all science, technology, math and engineering (STEM) degrees.
  • In November 2021, Amazon Web Services announced its plans to open a new infrastructure region in Calgary, creating an estimated 1,000 new jobs.
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