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Tradeswomen Demonstrate Non-Traditional Career Paths at Power Girls! Workshop

By Alex Ganapes, Girls Inc. Youth Counselor
February 10, 2017
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On Saturday, January 28, middle school girls in the Girls Inc. at YWCA Minneapolis program went to Dunwoody Technical College for a fun-filled day learning about non-traditional career paths for women in the trades at a Power Girls! workshop. Power Girls! is a partnership between Construction Careers Foundation and YWCA Minneapolis.

34 Local Tradeswomen Volunteer to Teach Girls

The event was attended by 34 local Twin Cities’ tradeswomen from all stages of their careers — apprentice, journey level and retired. As many of these careers are male-dominated, it was a great chance to meet a diverse group of women, all incredibly excited to share their experiences. The girls were pleased to find out “how many women worked in these fields,” and that there were “so many volunteers – they must really care!”

What did they practice making?

The girls participated in many different activities throughout the day. They designed mosaics using tile leftover from the U.S. Bank Stadium, a building many of the volunteer tradeswomen helped construct. The girls also built easels using saws, power tools and industrial sanders with help from the tradeswomen to hold their finished mosaic designs. As one girl used a jig-saw to cut the pieces for her easel she exclaimed, “Wow! I feel powerful!” The girls also had a chance to hear about and practice firsthand industrial painting, pipe-laying and electrical work. These activities involved virtual reality simulations, as well as working with actual tools and materials.

Girls Inc. Feedback

The feedback from the Girls Inc. participants was very positive. One girl said she was surprised to find “it was easier to understand than I thought it would be.” They loved being able to work with their hands for a day and learn new skills. Many of the girls had not done these activities before and were excited to learn with their enthusiastic volunteers. Their only suggestion for future trips? “More girls next time!”

View Event Photos Here: