Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. is pleased to announce the recent award of $7,500 from the Juan Young Trust for our Building Girls program. In this award cycle, the Eastern Division of the Trust received 43 applications requesting over $411,000. Their grant budget was $200,000.
Our goals for the Building Girls program for 2014-2015 are to serve over 1,600 girls through both hands-on and other educational activities through the Building Girls program. The program encourages middle and high school girls to view careers in construction as exciting and viable options through positive skills coaching, exposure to female role models, career pathways guidance and supervised hands-on construction experiences, well as fun and practical math skill-building activities. Building Girls efforts include five youth initiatives: School-Based Activities, School Partnerships & Collaborations, Women in Trades Career Fair Girls’ Days, Building Girls Construction Summer Camp, and Building Girls Work Crew.
Nationally, women continue to make up less than 3% of the construction workforce. In Oregon, female apprentices are on the rise, but still only 5.9% are women. Apprenticeship, paid-on-the-job training, is the way in which most workers access living wage careers in the building and construction, trades. Not only are fewer women accessing apprenticeship programs, fewer girls are enrolling in career/technical classes. The number of young women enrolled in professional technical classes continues to be far below the number of young men, though Title IX opened the doors of “shop” classes to young women in 1972. Reaching young women while they are still in school and before they decide upon a future career path is critical for the future trades workforce, as well as for the trades industry employers.