January 2015 – Oh, what a month!

All kinds of love headed OTI’s way since my last post about such matters.  It is so thrilling to hear from our members how much they love OTI and how they join us in our collective vision to help women pursue work in the trades.

At our recent annual meeting, we visited with almost 70 attendees to talk about what we did accomplish over the past year and all the great opportunity that is available to us in 2015.

Please visit our Facebook page to see more photos from our Annual Meeting!


Our accomplishments for 2014 include:

• 79 women graduated from our Pathways pre-apprenticeship program in 2014.
• We helped 88 women get their first job in the trades or move up to apprenticeship.
• 75 graduates landed their first job in the trades with an average hourly wage of $15.18.
• 1441 girls and educators attended our annual Women in Trades Career Fair.
• 76 girls attended our Summer Girls Construction Camp through our Building Girls program.

We also gave away great raffle prizes!  Thanks to Portland Spirit, Tradeswomen, Inc., Miss Zumstein Bakery & Coffee Shop, Ristretto Roasters, and Hankins Hardware for donating some really sweet prizes. A special shout out of thanks to Doris, our amazing volunteer, who did the work at getting most of these goodies into our hands.

We received great news from these foundations as they sent us very generous support for our various programs:

  • NW Health Foundation – $50,000 – Building Equity – Creating a Construction Culture that Supports Women and People of Color
  • The Autzen Foundation- $3,000 – Building Girls
  • The Jim & Dianna Murphy Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation – $10,000 – Supporting programs that encourage girls and women to explore careers in transportation and trucking


I had the pleasure of hand delivering several certificates of appreciation to a few of our long-time sponsors of our annual career fair. I visited with NW Natural, RR Donnelley, PacifiCorp and Gunderson.

Our 2015 Career Fair is taking place May 14 – 16 — learn more here!

If you wish to make a tax-deductible donation to OTI today in order to support our efforts to promote success for women and girls in the trades through education, leadership, and mentorship, please click here – thank you!

— Dennise M. Kowalczyk (Development Director)

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