Woman operating heavy machinery
Programs & Services

Breaking Ground

YWCA Breaking Ground is a free 22-week employment program for women interested in a career as a Heavy Equipment Operator. It provides employability skills training, occupational training and on-the-job work experience.


  • Essential/Employability Skills training including resume and cover letter development, interview skills, networking and workplace culture strategies  
  • Occupational Skills training includes: Road Building and Heavy Equipment Foundations Course, Heavy Equipment Operator Technician Course and Heavy Construction Training
  • Additional certifications: Telehandler, Occupational First Aid Level 1, Air Brakes, Fall Protection, Traffic Control Person (TCP), Rigging Level 2, H2S Alive, WHMIS, Pipeline Construction Safety Training (PCST), Ground Disturbance, Site Ready, Confined Space Awareness
  • On-the-job work experience with an IUOE Local 115 signatory employer in the Road Building or Heavy Construction sector in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley
  • Personalized job placement and follow up support

Our training is provided in partnership with International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), Local 115.


Unemployed self-identifying women who: 

  • Are currently on EI OR
  • Had an EI claim in the last five years OR
  • Earned $2,000 or more in insurable earnings and paid employee EI premiums on those earnings in at least five of the last 10 years OR
  • Are a British Columbia Employment and Assistance Client 
  • Have a valid Class 5 BC driver’s license
  • Are proficient in English  
  • Are Canadian citizens or permanent residents 
  • Are able to commit to 22 weeks of full time classroom, occupational training and work experience

All participants require a referral to the program from a WorkBC Centre. WorkBC will cover the cost of transportation and child care. 


Training will be provided at the IUOE Local 115’s Maple Ridge Training Site in Maple Ridge BC.


The program is currently not accepting applications, please contact breakingground@ywcavan.org for more information if required.


YWCA Breaking Ground
604 809 1001 | breakingground@ywcavan.org

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