Van Kam Partners with YWCA’s Changing Gears Program to Empower Women

July 31, 2023

Van Kam Freightways is pleased to announce our partnership with the YWCA’s Changing Gears program. This groundbreaking initiative offers a comprehensive 24-week truck driving training course specifically designed for unemployed self-identifying women. The program aims to break down barriers and open up new opportunities in the transportation sector, providing participants with a Class 1 driver’s license and the essential skills needed to launch a successful career in transportation. 

A Day of Empowerment and Growth

Recently, our dedicated Human Resources team and Director of Linehaul had the unique opportunity to present to a group of enthusiastic women enrolled in the Changing Gears program. These women, previously unemployed, are now on a transformative journey, sponsored by the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. Over 24 weeks, they will receive comprehensive training that will culminate in them obtaining their Class 1 license, a key stepping stone to a rewarding career in transportation.

“Meeting these women and hearing their stories was truly inspiring,” Their diverse backgrounds and motivations for choosing a trucking career were empowering. One participant came from a family of truckers, carrying on the tradition, while another with tow truck experience sought to further develop her skills and pursue a new career,” Brittany Iverson, Van Kam’s HR Manager, shares her insights from the event. “We’re eagerly looking forward to providing them with work experience and job shadowing opportunities, which will give them a real-world taste of the transportation industry,” she adds

Beyond the Driver’s Seat

The Changing Gears program is about more than just driving lessons. It offers a holistic approach to career development, including classes on self-defence, interviewing skills, and more. These additional components of the program ensure that the women are well-prepared for all aspects of their new careers, both on and off the road. Each cohort consists of 10 women, and with the program aiming to graduate 50 women in the coming year, the impact of Changing Gears will be felt across the transportation industry.

“This program is about empowerment. It’s about equipping women with the tools they need to thrive in a traditionally male-dominated industry. We’re honoured to be part of this transformative journey, and we’re committed to supporting these women every step of the way,” Brittany adds.

On the Road to Success

As we continue our collaboration with the YWCA’s Changing Gears program, we’re excited to witness the growth and success of these women. We believe in their potential and are proud to support them on their journey. Their success will not only benefit them individually but will also contribute to the diversity and strength of the transportation industry as a whole.

We encourage everyone to support this incredible initiative that is driving change and creating a more inclusive future for the transportation industry. To learn more about the Changing Gears program, visit: YWCA Changing Gears.

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