Construction work is a field dominated by men.
Now there’s a push to recruit women to become part of the rewarding career.
A national non-profit is leading the charge, starting at the high school level and placing a special emphasis on targeting women.
“It’s been amazing,” Cynthia Lopez said.
The traditionally male-dominated field is changing, in part due to training and educational opportunities through Associated Builders and Contractors of South Texas.
“We’re trying to rally around the community and give them opportunities to recognize there are opportunities out there they may not even know about,” said Tamara Schmoekel.
The national non-profit works in partnership with local colleges and universities, as well as employers in the field.
They not only train adult men and women like apprentice Cynthia Lopez…
“I’m getting opportunities that I wouldn’t have gotten in the past,” Lopez said.
The collaborative recruitment effort offers paid internships to high school students who may not be college bound.
“For some folks getting straight into the workforce is a better solution for them,” said TD Industries Operations Manager, Justin Beard.
instead, he says they can learn skills needed to secure a great career without student loan debt.
“They’re able to earn a wage while they’re going to school and educating themselves in a skilled trade,” Beard explained.
Workforce experts say millions of skilled laborers are needed in areas like construction, mechanical engineering, and plumbing.
Student intern Kaitlyn Cavallin is an example of the targeted push to recruit women.
“I really didn’t know a lot about mechanical and plumbing so I really wanted to venture out and try something new and it ended up being a really good experience,” Cavallin said.
It’s an experience she says that has generated new found respect from her peers.
“As a female and being 17-years old starting in a construction internship that’s pretty impressive to a lot of people,” Cavallin explained.
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