We are pleased to announce the launch of the Canerector Foundation Scholarships in Skilled Trades program. The Foundation has already contributed $1.75 million to support approximately 450 students with four leading colleges and is excited for new schools across Canada to join the program.

The Canerector Foundation was established in late 2019 as a way for Canerector and the Hawkins family to give back and help communities in Canada and around the world thrive. Donations have been made to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Chalice, UHN Foundation (formerly Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation), Sick Kids Hospital and Mt. Sinai Hospital and the Canada Ukraine Foundation. When the pandemic hit, the Foundation directed funds to food banks in areas that were hit hard by COVID-19 lockdowns and high levels of unemployment, such as the Edmonton Gleaners Association, Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank Society and the Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank. The Foundation has also contributed to the London Health Sciences Foundation in support of research into the development of a new respiratory system and epigenetic studies.

Revisiting our Roots

Building on the skills that built Canerector itself, the Foundation has decided to invest in skilled trades education. Recognizing the shortage of trades professionals in the economy and the opportunities available to those who pursue these fields, the Canerector Foundation funded these scholarships to draw attention to the wide variety of careers that begin with skilled trades education from leading community colleges.

“Skilled trades are a critical contributor to the success of our overall economy,” said Canerector CEO and Director of the Foundation, Amanda Hawkins. “The Canerector Foundation is pleased to support skilled trades education, encouraging students to pursue these rewarding and in-demand careers.”

During a recent visit to Canerector Scholarship program partner Durham College, Matt Warden and Amanda Hawkins met with Rebecca Milburn, principal, Whitby Campus and executive dean, Faculty of Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship (second from left) and Elaine Popp, executive vice president, Academic (far right). Image used with the permission of Durham College.

More About the Scholars

The Foundation has started by partnering with four colleges, where approximately 450 students will benefit from the Canerector Foundation Scholarships in Skilled Trades over the next 4-5 years. Interested students can find these scholarship programs available at Algonquin College, Centennial College, Durham College, and Conestoga College.

Students selected as Canerector scholars receive scholarship funding (typically $1,000 per semester) to apply towards their tuition fees. Scholars who participate in mentoring current and prospective skilled trades students and/or co-curricular activities and maintain certain academic standards can be awarded additional funds throughout their course of study.  Additionally, based on a unique aspect of the Foundation’s donations, Canerector scholars will receive ongoing social and career support, including mentorship and increased access to employers and alumni.

Canerector scholarship recipients participated in presentations and nine hands-on workshops on March 2nd at Conestoga College’s TradeUcation helping inform 150 local guidance counsellors and teachers about skilled trades and apprenticeship pathways. Images used with the permission of Conestoga College.


The full list of eligible skilled trades programs and application requirements for each college can be obtained via the college websites.

Looking to the Future

As the Foundation began broadening its scope, contributing to skilled trades education made a lot of sense.

“Skilled trades education propelled the founders of Canerector, as well as many those of the businesses in our group today,” said Hawkins. “We value development of these practical, valuable skills and plan to expand our support of these programs going forward.”

Looking forward, as they graduate and move into the workforce, the cadre of Canerector Foundation scholars will generate economic opportunities and activity in many sectors. The Canerector Foundation is excited to continue building strong relationships with colleges and aims to expand the reach of the scholarship program across Canada.

We wish the Canerector Foundation scholars all the best as they embark on their studies!