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Girls love to build! OTI had a fantastic year of Building Girls programming in 2015 with girls’ construction clubs, two girls’ days at the Women in Trades Career Fair serving 1,262 girls, a Building Girls Crew with 15 young women now poised to enter the work world and two fun summer camps with 58 girls learning the basics of building.

Despite our strong service to the community and after much thoughtful consideration, Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. (OTI) has made the difficult decision to place our Building Girls youth program on hiatus for the a period of time while we re-examine strategic programming decisions and pursue sustainable funding for the program.

If you would like additional information about OTI’s Building Girls program, please contact OTI’s Executive Director, Connie Ashbrook, at [email protected].

Building Girls Work Crew

The Building Girls Work Crew is an all-female environment where young women are introduced to working in construction.

The program teaches young women basic carpentry, while also training job skills, and educating about the culture of construction. Young women learn how to use power tools, frame walls, install metal roofing, learn proper safety techniques and experience construction work in a positive and supportive environment.

The participants go on field trips each week to Apprenticeship Training Centers to learn about the different career opportunities available in the Trades, and to build structures for other local non-profits.

The program also offers financial education, wellness & physical fitness training, a yoga workshop, and a self-defense class. Work Crew is fun, challenging, and transformative.

Participants Quotes:

“I’ve come out of it confident and empowered.  Both of those affect every aspect of life.”
“This class really builds self confidence in both you and your fellow women, teaches you better communication, and you learn what you want or don’t want in a job.”

“Women in the Trades are bad-ass, and I’m strong enough to be bad-ass too!”

Building Girls Summer Construction Camp

Although OTI’s Building Girls program is on hiatus, we invite you to visit Girls Build, a new a non-profit organization dedicated to putting tools in the hands of girls, and letting them explore the world of building and fixing. They offer a Summer Construction Camp and other programming for girls.

Girls Construction Camp is a fun and exciting camp where girls have fun and learn through hands on activities! During this day camp girls will build a play house, make stepping stones, weld table bases and tile the table tops, solder pipe, and much more! The camps are for middle school and high school girls, this is a great opportunity to learn to carpentry skills and make new friends!

Outreach Events

The Building Girls Program Manager actively participates in educational activities produced by a variety of community organizations and schools such as PAVTEC Middle School Girls Conference and the NW Youth Expo. These events allow the Building Girls program to be “mobile” and introduce OTI’s programs and hands-on workshops to wider audiences in the Portland-metro area.

Women in Trades Career Fair

Hundreds of youth and educators from across Oregon and Southwest Washington participate in the annual Women in Trades Career Fair. Workshops explore a wide range of trades and allow girls to interact directly with successful tradeswomen and explore trades career options. Girls can learn how to use a power drill, wire an electrical light and switch, climb a utility pole, run a jackhammer, and so much more.


Girls Construction Clubs: After School Program

This is an exciting new program launched in 2014. The Girls Construction Clubs are an opportunity for girls to learn carpentry from Tradeswomen in an 8 week after school program. The Clubs are fun, challenging, and a great way to learn new skills in a comfortable environment.  Girls are taught basic carpentry, hand & power tool safety, and encouraged to use their creativity and imagination in their projects. This program is incredibly empowering and fun for everyone involved!

School Educating and Advising

Oregon Tradeswomen staff are excited to provide education and advising for local schools in the Portland area. Topics include navigating apprenticeship and how to engage young women in Trades Careers. Interested in having us talk with your school counselors or teachers? Contact Connie Ashbrook for staff availability.

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

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