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Helen Getchell Women of Color in the Trades Fund

Oregon Tradeswomen is committed to increasing the participation of women in the skilled trades, and we have shifted our outreach to focus on women of color who remain significantly under-represented in the construction industry, here in Oregon and across the nation.

We know women of color leave the construction industry at higher rates than both white women and their male counterparts, and Oregon Tradeswomen is working to address barriers and increase retention. There are many factors contributing to these high attrition rates, and Oregon Tradeswomen is working to help address those issues. 

  • We are focusing on strong public policy to ensure participation goals are in place on public project for a diverse workforce.
  • We are working to create access to quality, affordable childcare.
  • We are committed to addressing harassment and discrimination in the workplace.

These are just some of the ways we seek to shift the numbers, support our industry, and improve outcomes for workers in our communities. The Helen Getchell Fund was established to specifically provide support to help increase the retention of success of our sisters of color in the construction industry.

More about The Helen Getchell Women of Color in the Trades Fund

The Helen Getchell Women of Color in the Trades Fund is a designated fund housed and managed at Oregon Tradeswomen. Through the fund, women of color who demonstrate need are provided with direct financial support to successfully complete pre-apprenticeship and enter into employment and registered apprenticeship in the skilled trades.

The fund is advised by members of the Helen Getchell Giving Circle, which is comprised of the fund’s founder, Charlene Getchell, and invited community and industry stakeholders who are committed to ensuring access, opportunity and equity for women of color in the skilled trades. 

Or mail your gift to:
Oregon Tradeswomen
3934 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Suite 101
Portland, OR 97212

Posted on by OTI Staff in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wire A Light Dates Announced for 2019

Would you like to learn about the possibilities a career as an electrician offers? The NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center is hosting four “Wire a Light” workshops for women who have an interest in the electrical trades. During this free workshop, you can learn how to wire a light, meet women electricians in the industry, and find out how to start your career as an electrician.

Dates & Registration:

March 28, 2019
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Register for the 3/28 workshop


June 6, 2019
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Register for the 6/6 workshop


September 12, 2019
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Register for the 9/12 workshop


December 5, 2019
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Register for the 12/5 workshop

Location:
NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center
16021 NE Airport Way

Bus Lines:
NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center is accessible via TriMet bus lines 74 and 87.

Posted on by OTI Staff in Apprentice, Career Path, Community Partners, Seminars and Trainings | Leave a comment

From Pre-Apprenticeship to Business Owner!

 

Oregon Tradeswomen has the privilege of meeting some truly amazing women during every Trades and Apprenticeship Career Class (TACC) we hold, and our most recent graduating class was no exception. Janet Huerta decided to embark on a new path after the tragic passing of both her parents on the same day and she enrolled in TACC.

Janet had worked in social services for decades, assisting survivors of abuse. Both her father and step-father were woodworkers, her brother started his career in framing as a teen, and her nephew is a laborer, so tools and workshops were familiar to Janet. A particularly harsh winter in central Oregon one year devastated the house that Janet had called home for 20 years and due to the high demand for skilled tradespeople, she was unable to get help to fix the damage the ice had wreaked. This dilemma sparked a question in Janet’s mind: “Why can’t I do this?”

When she quit her job to care for her parents full-time, this question stuck with her. Janet connected with Oregon Tradeswomen’s Outreach Coordinator, Anjeanette Brown, at a Women’s Foundation of Oregon event, and began her relationship with Oregon Tradeswomen as a donor. After the passing of her parents, Janet’s brother encouraged her to begin volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, which would give her an even better idea if this new path would be a good fit. Janet soon discovered that most of the other volunteers were retired tradespeople whose experience allowed them to take first dibs on certain parts of the building process. Unfortunately, Janet wasn’t getting training opportunities as fast as she would have liked.

In May of 2018, Janet attended Oregon Tradeswomen’s annual Career Fair which solidified her interest in pre-apprenticeship. After the event, she made sure to check the Oregon Tradeswomen website every day to make sure she didn’t miss the opportunity to register for the Fall TAC Class. Not only did she register for TACC, but she caught it two-handed. The 8 weeks of TACC flew by and, surprised by how well she did, Janet proved to herself that with baby steps, her goals were attainable. In her own words, Janet says, “the most valuable part of pre-apprenticeship is the chance to let go of any fear or self-doubt that holds all of us back from trying new things and finding out ‘We Can!’ It is what happens for everyone here whether it is intentional or not. Oregon Tradeswomen creates a space to overcome fear or doubt and instills an internal mechanism to problem-solve anything.”

Janet went on to complete our Environmental Worker Training Track with a HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response) certification, and on her last day of training, she was approached by a family friend who needed a toilet installed. Feeling confident in her abilities, she recruited a classmate, and they set off to lend a helping hand. Having successfully executed her first gig, Janet knew she could turn this into a business! And from that thought emerged The Build-It Sisters, a business based in Sisters, Oregon that Janet hopes to expand to hire Oregon Tradeswomen graduates and other women. With more work already lined up through word-of-mouth, Janet’s goal is to go above and beyond other contractors, skillfully completing jobs and leaving spaces nicer than they were before. 

There are so many paths for our graduates to explore when they leave pre-apprenticeship and we love to hear about all the creative ways they take the skills learned during class and apply them in the work-force. Not only do we need women in apprenticeship, but we also need more female contractors and business owners. We wish Janet the best in her endeavors and cannot wait to share in the successes of her and her trades sisters!

Posted on by OTI Staff in Career Path, OTI Graduates, tradeswomen | Leave a comment

3934 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. #101  |  Portland, Oregon 97212  |   phone: 503.335.8200  |  fax: 503.249.0445