Middle and high school-aged girls recently learned more about careers involving skilled trades such as construction, welding, electrical and plumbing as part of the annual Girls Can Construction Camp held at the Career Technical Educational Center.
The camp, which ran from June 4-8, is a joint effort between the school district and Alabama Power. It introduced 15 girls in grades 8-10 to various skills used in the construction industry where the jobs are not typically filled by female workers.
“This camp is a great way to expose students to these non-traditional skilled jobs,” said Shelby County Schools Career and Technical Education Supervisor Julie Godfrey. “Even though these careers have always been open to both genders, there are so many opportunities for females in these jobs that they may be unaware of.”
The Girls Can Construction Camp helps to dispel the myth that women can’t be successful in the construction industry by teaching the students the necessary job skills while also exposing them to successful women who are employed in many different construction-related fields.
The girls spent a full day in each program learning skills in carpentry, plumbing, welding, and electrical. On Friday, they attended a field trip/job site tour of Alabama Power’s E.C. Gaston Electric Generating Plant before returning to the school for a celebration lunch and project presentation tour.
The courses were taught by Shelby County instructors Doug Forsythe (carpentry/electrical), Lynn Miller (welding), and Rex Horton (plumbing) who were assisted by various instructors from the local sponsoring companies.
“Girls Can Camp challenges the girls to learn things they may have never been exposed to before,” said Godfrey. “They are unsure at first but it quickly turns to excitement once they realize they can perform the skills involved in carpentry, welding, plumbing and electrical. It’s a great transformation to watch their confidence grow. The girls were enthusiastic, eager to learn and independent. It made for a fun week!
Sponsors of the camp this year were:
- Alabama Power
- Colburn Construction
- Davis Construction
- Go-Build Alabama
- Insulators and Allied Workers Local 78
- McAbee Construction
- Magnus & Company
- Performace Contractors
- Plumbing and Pipefitting Local 91
- United Rental