Collection: Research Materials
This study investigates the effectiveness of Residential Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Training (RHVACT) for Women at Toronto’s George Brown College, a pre-apprenticeship pilot project funded by the Government of Ontario’s Women’s Directorate, in helping to ease the barriers to employment in skilled trades for women trying to leave violent domestic situations.
This program focused on specific skill-building leading to certification and defined job opportunities rather than general readiness for employment. The women were provided with a wide range of support services, including supplies and equipment for the training program; referrals to medical care and legal support; counselling; help with childcare expenses; and curriculum support.
Of the 37 women who began, 22 completed the program. In general, the women who completed the program were younger; had better prior academic preparation; and were more likely to have driver’s licences than those who did not complete the program.
The research findings revealed two general elements of the course design and support that were found to be crucial: relationships developed with faculty and between peers that led students to feel connected and supported; and non-judgmental responses and attempts to meet every need that got in the way of students’ access to the program and their success in it.