The government of Alberta is providing $5 million in funding over two years to Edmonton-based Elevate Aviation to provide training in aviation-related fields to young Albertans. Elevate, founded and led by Edmonton air traffic controller Kendra Kincade, has developed aviation training programs for young women across Canada for years, such as a nine-week Women’s Employment Skills Training program (WEST).
The funding will not be for flight training, but rather related career paths including aircraft maintenance, ground operations and drone operations. Although the focus will be on recruiting women to the program, it will be open to all applicants.
“This funding is going to have a great impact on the future of the aviation and aerospace industry,” said Elevate’s Kincade. “Not only will it improve our ability to provide innovative training opportunities for today’s aviation workers, it will also support the future of the industry by promoting the aviation sector as an appealing and rewarding career choice for all genders and diverse groups.”
The provincial government pointed to the announcement by de Havilland Canada of their planned campus east of Calgary, and the growth of both Edmonton-based Flair Airlines and Calgary-based WestJet as examples of the growing need for aviation industry employees in Alberta.
“Alberta is well-positioned to be Canada’s next aviation hub,” said Alberta Jobs minister Brian Jean in a press release issued on April 12. “Elevate was an obvious partner to help Albertans to grow in their careers and to support the growth, diversity and vitality of the aviation industry in our province.”
Elevate Aviation was founded in 2015 as a not-for-profit organization. Their mission statement reads, “Elevate Aviation provides a platform for women and underrepresented groups to thrive and succeed through careers in aviation.”