Week of Activities Helps Participants Discover Construction Careers
A group of lucky Austin young ladies recently learned first-hand about being a construction professional as part of Camp NAWIC, a construction camp for girls created by the Austin Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC). The week-long camp gave 24 middle schoolers the opportunity to explore career paths in construction and gain hands-on learning experience from women in the industry.
The Camp was based at the Austin Training Center of the Gulf Coast Carpenters & Millwrights Training Trust Fund (GCCMTTF), and also the home of Central South Carpenters Regional Council Local 1266.
“Every day, thousands of women across the country and across Texas play a critical role in the construction industry,” said Bobby Vasquez, Austin Training Coordinator for the GCCMTTF who also served as a panelist during the Camp’s careers discussion. “However, there is a shortage of women in construction. That’s why programs like this and our partners NAWIC and Rosendin play an important role in getting women training and leadership skills, advocating for women’s issues and providing mentorship.”
“Many younger girls are unaware of the possibility of a rewarding and financially beneficial career in the construction trades or related fields,” said Jolsna Thomas, Camp coordinator from Rosendin. “This camp is designed to give them real hands-on experience and work side-by-side with other girls and women with careers in the industry.”
Throughout the week, campers learned a variety of construction skills, including how to work a cement mixer, how to operate heavy machinery, and how to handle tools safely. Three hands-on projects culminated with the construction of dog houses for Austin animal shelters. Campers were assisted by female carpenter instructors such as San Antonio Local Union President Michele Lindenmier and Central South’s Sisters-in-the-Brotherhood coordinator Shanta Prude.
Women account for 9% of the construction workforce and 3% of the craft workforce. As a shortage of construction workers continues to plague the industry, the need for women to fill these critical roles increases. The Central South Carpenters supports encouraging women to enter the skilled trades in part through an active Sisters-in-the-Brotherhood program. Learn more about this program, here.
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