By MEG HERNDON | STAFF WRITER
COLUMBIANA – According to the United States Department of Labor, solely 9 p.c of U.S. development staff are girls. An annual camp held at Shelby County’s Career Technical Educational Center hopes to vary that and empower younger women to get into the trade.
The Girls Can Construction Camp permits 15 younger women from Shelby County Schools who’re rising ninth through eleventh graders to be taught and develop their skills in numerous trade industries, resembling carpentry, plumbing, electrical and welding over the course of every week.
This 12 months, the camp occurred Monday, June 6 through Friday, June 10. On Friday, the ladies took a area journey to Alabama Power’s E.C. Gaston Electric Generating Plant after which had a commencement ceremony the place they got a device package and had been capable of present their mother and father what they created all through the week.
“I think more than anything it’s just exposure,” stated CTEC supervisor, Julie Godfrey on the camp’s significance. “It helps them to learn about some demands that are in the field for female workers that maybe they didn’t know before.”
During the camp, attendees discovered how you can construct a bookcase, a lamp and weld their very own creations. Godfrey stated that as the ladies be taught, their confidence grows in their very own skills, typically in a matter of only a few hours.
“It’s empowering to them to figure out that, ‘Hey, I can build this. This is not just a guy thing,’ or, “I can weld this,’” Godfrey stated. “Especially if they’re not exposed in their home to it.”
Junior Julianne Newman stated she wished to attend the camp as a result of she is extra desirous about fingers-on studying versus taking notes in a classroom.
“I’ve always liked hands-on projects and everything. It’s just how I learn,” Newman stated. “I thought it would be a very good route. I like to be immersed in (lessons) and learn by watching and doing.”
When it involves the atmosphere that was created within the camp, Newman stated it made studying male-dominated trades much less intimidating.
“It’s easier for us to be like family and just do it all together,” Newman stated concerning the lessons. “We all understand each other. It’s been amazing.”
A development teacher at CTEC for 10 years, Blake Ray has been an teacher at three of the Girls Can Construction camps. He stated that quite a lot of the ladies he teaches are properly rounded as they play a sport, are members of their college’s choir or band and in addition wish to be taught a trade.
“The girls seem really excited to be here and eager to learn,” Ray stated.
He defined that development isn’t simply reserved for individuals who wish to choose out of school and that there are many careers in development that require a school diploma.
“Things like architecture, construction management, civil engineering,” Ray stated. “I think those type of careers, they can gain an interest in that by going through a camp like this, where they see all different areas of construction.”
One solution to get the ladies within the trades they be taught all through the camp is to bolster their sureness of their skills. Ray stated that on the subject of educating the ladies to be assured of their skills, it’s all about letting them make errors.
“If you allow them to utilize the equipment and make those mistakes, they learn from it, and they become more confident,” he stated.
Another cause the expertise that the ladies acquire all through the camp is important is that it permits them to be extra educated shoppers, householders and land house owners. Which, to Ray, is simply as important because the profession publicity their gaining.
While a number of the ideas and classes would possibly make even adults wrestle, the ladies took the ideas in stride. Newman, who plans to take the welding course at CTEC within the new college 12 months, loved the camp’s actions and thrived all through the teachings.
“It’s pretty easy,” Newman stated.
When it involves after highschool, her plans are centered on the trade she was most enthusiastic about that week. “I’m probably going straight into welding. If I had to do something after high school it would probably be going into trade school,” she stated.