Executive Director

   Cindy Messaros

In 2008, Cindy Messaros assumed the role of Executive Director of the Alberta Workforce Essential Skills Society (AWES). Since its inception in 1986, AWES has successfully provided thousands of people with workplace essential skills training, providing them with the necessary tools to create safe and productive workplaces.

Cindy’s career in the field of employment initiatives began with a position in the Alberta government, where her focus was finding solutions to the language and cultural barriers faced by immigrants seeking employment. She completed a post-graduate diploma in Adult Education majoring in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) at the University of Alberta in 1994, and in 2004, she completed the HRSDC Essential Skills Certificate. Cindy has designed and taught curricula in Canada and abroad, and her work has focused on advancing the workplace and language skills of people whose first language is not English. With AWES, she continues to open pathways to employment by combining best practices in essential skills methodology and materials development with English as a second language pedagogy.

By advocating for and supporting essential skills training at a strategic level, Cindy has cultivated AWES into a nationally recognized Workplace Essential Skills (WES) training organization.  She leads a strong, dynamic organization with a team of highly skilled professionals and takes direction from an outstanding board that is committed to the AWES vision and mandate.

Contact Cindy to discuss training solutions.


Professional and proven consultants

AWES learned early that using qualified consultants was vital to meet the needs of our clients.

AWES project consultants have extensive knowledge of workplace essential skills, English as a Second Language, and intercultural communication. They are experienced curriculum developers and trainers, masters at engaging adult learners, from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, in the classroom and in the workplace. Members of the AWES consulting team are located throughout Alberta and across Canada.


Board of Directors

AWES is directed by a volunteer Board of representatives from industry, labour, and government to ensure the organization is connected, current, and relevant to the needs of Albertans and Canadians.  The AWES Board  is dynamic and welcomes involvement.

   Brad Bent, Chairperson

Brad Bent, Director of Training for CLAC, an independent, all-Canadian labour union. Brad has extensive labour relations experience, managing a large training facility that provides trades training, health & safety courses, apprenticeships, pre-employment programs, and aboriginal programming, as well as the service sectors and new immigrants to Canada. Brad sees the need for workplace essential skills throughout the many work sectors in Alberta, and is committed to working with AWES to see Alberta’s workforce trained, safe, and successful.

   Ray Massey, Vice Chairperson

Ray Massey joined the AWES board in September 2010 and brings a business perspective to AWES as the owner of a successful Calgary painting company. In addition, Ray is the past chair of the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board and the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum. He is committed to finding pathways for underserved populations and to explore opportunities and find the tools to succeed.

   Marilynn Boehm, Treasurer

Marilynn has been involved with the food processing industry for many years. Marilynn spent 34 years working for the Alberta government in various roles in Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development and Alberta Employment and Immigration. During her time at the Alberta government, she developed many programs and services for food processors and was a strong advocate for business development and agri-food processing. Marilynn joined the Alberta Food Processors Association in  2014 as president. She is pleased to be back working with and supporting the food industry. She sees great potential for industry growth and is very passionate about finding creative solutions to barriers to industry growth.

   Carolyn Dieleman, Director

It was under Carolyn’s visionary leadership that AWES was founded in 1989, along with committee champions from business, labour, education and government. Carolyn came on as President of the Board in October 2011, after retiring from the Language Training, Immigration Policy and Programs Branch of Alberta Human Services.

   D’Arcy Claypool, Director

D’Arcy brings government expertise as a Director in the Program Effectiveness branch of Alberta Labour. D’Arcy has been working with literacy and essential skills initiatives for more than 30 years with the federal and provincial governments.  He believes everyone should be seeking ways to enhance their workplace essential skills, as they are tools for success for jobs of today and of the future.

   Heidi Harris Jensen, Director

Heidi is the former Director of Government and External Relations for the Alberta Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association (ARHCA). She has more than 20 years of experience in association management, stakeholder relations, and advocacy, including leading initiatives on workforce development, recruitment, training, and professional development initiatives. These include the TradeUp Alberta consortium, the Roadbuilder Certificate Program at NAIT, the Heavy Equipment Operator Program at Olds College, and the Roadbuilder Safety Training Program (RSTS).

   j’Amey Holroyd, Director

j’Amey has worked in the industrial construction and maintenance industry for more than 19 years. She holds a trade certificate with an Interprovincial Standards Red Seal endorsement in the Boilermaker trade, an Achievement in Business Competencies Program (Blue Seal) certificate, and a Masters of Arts in Leadership from Royal Roads University.

j’Amey began her term as Chair of the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board in May 2016. She is an active member of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Local 146, and has served on multiple boards and committees to support and advocate for continuous learning, caring work environments and trade mastery.

j’Amey recognizes that apprenticeship is the foundation on which many careers are built,  and is an essential part of economic stability, and that’s where she has chosen to direct her passion and dedication.

   Eva John-Gladue, Director

Eva  has more than 20 years’ experience in management and career development that began when she studied Career Development and Management Studies.    She has been managingthe Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS) program for the past 10 years on behalf of Tribal Chiefs Employment & Training Services Association.

Eva has a deep understanding of the unique realities found within Indigenous communities. Eva was instrumental in the development of the T.R.E.A.T.Y. Model Mapping for Integrated Services for Tribal Chiefs Employment and Training Services Association. She works closely with all levels of government to provide valuable insight and advice on Indigenous culture, customs, and challenges.

Eva’s career has centered on working with Indigenous issues, which has included living in First Nation communities to more deeply understand the issues, strategic planning for workforce and literacy development and human services coordination, business planning and program evaluation capacity building, community liaison, and economic development coordination.

Chairperson’s message

A highly skilled workforce is the only sustainable competitive advantage employers have. In a world increasingly short of skilled workers, Alberta employers also must learn to optimize their operations with an increasingly diverse workforce serving an equally diverse clientele.

It is both a competitive necessity and a human imperative to help ensure every individual can maximize their contribution to their work and their community.  AWES is Alberta’s answer to ensure that every employee is equipped with the skills at the foundation of all other workplace learning and advancement.  AWES provides services to individual employees, employers, and industry associations, and we encourage you to view AWES as a strategic partner for human resource development for every worksite.