We were proud to support last month’s exciting Girls in Trades Career Fair, which brought together hundreds of girls from high schools across the Commonwealth to explore careers in the skilled trades.
The conference, which was sponsored by Massachusetts Girls in Trades, an organization dedicated to establishing a pipeline for school-aged girls to enter the union skilled trades, saw more than 300 students and educators fill the IBEW Local 103 union hall and training facility in Dorchester. Inside, they heard inspiring stories from women working in the trades and learned about union apprenticeship opportunities.
“When I first walked in, I thought it was great! I was like ‘whoa, there are so many girls like me, who want to do what I want to do’,” said Aanycia Rivera, 17, a junior at Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School, in Lexington.
“I was sitting exactly where you are sitting four years ago,” union carpenter apprentice Brandy “Bre” Rankins told the gathering. “We’ve learned a skill that we can take anywhere.”
The demand for skilled labor is high in male-dominated fields like construction, and Massachusetts is a national leader when it comes to the number of women participating in union apprenticeships.
“This may be the only event like this in the country, and it looks like we’re gonna need a bigger room,” said Frank Callahan, President of the Massachusetts Building Trades Council. “Today’s event has been the most successful one ever.”