On-Site Magazine

KEEN Utility supports BCIT with 2023 grant

By Adam Freill   

Construction Labour Skills Development Women in Construction

Trades Discovery for Women program receives funding boost from Safety footwear manufacturer’s She Builds Grant Program.

Trades Discovery for Women program at British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) is once again receiving grant support from KEEN Utility, a leader in safety footwear and the work boot division of KEEN Inc.

The school is one of six recipients of the company’s 2023 She Builds Grant Program. Launched by KEEN Utility in 2021, the She Builds Grant Program was created to help attract more women into the skilled trades. Between 2021 and 2026, the program is providing US$1 million in product and financial support to non-profit organizations in Canada and the United States that are leading the way to provide trade skills education and support for the next generation of tradeswomen.

This year, She Builds grants will be awarded to  British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Trades Discovery for Women, Black Women Build-Baltimore, Girl’s Garage, Grid Alternative’s Women in Solar Program, Oregon Tradeswomen, and Vermont Works for Women.

The grants will help provide hundreds of thousands of hours in quality education, expansion of workplace inclusivity training, and KEEN Utility’s women’s specific safety footwear. Recipients were selected by KEEN Utility and its fans.


“Women are a vital part of the skilled trades,” said Kevin Oberle, senior director of global insights and engagement at KEEN Utility. “Through the She Builds Grant Program we are able to better support a number of forward-thinking organizations dedicated to the empowerment of women in the trades. A career in the trades can be incredibly rewarding and, as a company, KEEN Utility is proud to help build a future where women are provided more support and offered more inclusivity in industries critical to our way of life.”

The She Builds Grant Program is funded through the KEEN Effect program, a give-back initiative whose larger mission includes making the outside and the trades accessible to all. The KEEN Effect program was founded in 2005 and the brand has committed millions of dollars toward social and environmental justice since its inception.




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