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"In Short, Women Hold Up Half the Sky"

Lexi Zhang found purpose in a new Carpentry career, after moving from China and starting from scratch. Learn about her journey.

  • Article
  • Employment skills

Wed Jun 14, 2023 by Momentum Staff

A graduate of Momentum's 2020 Carpentry program, Lexi Zhang's journey from office work in China to a meaningful carpentry career in Calgary was smoother than one might imagine.

Lexi's story has been featured on CTV, and she shared her experience and knowledge of carpentry with a Chinese blog titled Time is on The Road.

Seeking a home that supported same-sex rights, Lexi and her wife came to Calgary in late 2019, and she enrolled in Momentum's Carpentry program in 2020. As shared on CTV, Lexi states, "in Canada also I saw a lot of women carpenters, it inspired me. I thought oh, being a woman, being a female carpenter here, it's very cool."

As part of the program, Lexi was placed with a work experience host. Her work experience placement was with a tiny homes company called Zero Squared, and they enjoyed her attitude and abilities so much, she was hired permanently following the work experience term.

Our Executive Director, Jeff Loomis, was quoted by CTV, "there are huge labour market challenges in trades. We need more people in trades in Alberta. It is a really good career path, but some people don't know that it's a really good career path," he added that the employment rate for graduates of the publicly-funded program is at 80 per cent, back to pre-pandemic levels.

In her story shared on Time Is On The Road, Lexi stated, "when I went to Momentum for the first time, I met Selina, the head of the woodworking project. During the inquiry process, I mainly expressed my concerns: the possibility of learning woodworking with zero experience? Will it be difficult for women to learn carpentry? Selina is a very nice person. She keeps telling me, "don't worry, it's never too late to build a skill. In short, women hold up half the sky". Then I officially signed up happily."

Learn more about our Pre-apprenticeship Carpentry program!