Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc.’s Building Girls program helps fill a critical gap for young women by offering ways to explore the variety of exciting, high-paying careers available in the trades. Through supervised hands-on construction experience, positive skills coaching, and working directly with female role models, Building Girls fulfills an unmet community need.
Young women who participate in the Building Girls Work Crew are paid for their work and learn early the value of paid on-the-job training. The Building Girls Work Crew is an all female environment where participants learn how to use power tools, frame walls, install metal roofing, learn proper safety etiquette and experience construction work in a positive and supportive environment. After completing a Building Girls Work Crew, participants are encouraged to enroll in OTI’s state-certified Trades and Apprenticeship Career Class.
This day camp for middle and high school girls includes basic math and measurement, construction basics (such as measuring wood, using a skill saw, and hammering nails), tools use and safety, visits to construction sites, teamwork, and project planning.
The camp’s activities culminate in a cooperative building project, such as the construction of a tool shed, which is then donated to a community garden.
Building Girls’ school-based activities introduce girls to learning how to properly and safely use power tools and practice math and measurement, all the while having fun building projects. In partnership with select local schools and community-based organizations, OTI staff works with small groups of girls during school hours to complete basic construction projects while learning a variety of skills.
Building Girls staff 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.
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.
3934 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. #101 | Portland, Oregon 97212 | phone: 503.335.8200 | fax: 503.249.0445