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Lead an Interactive Workshop


Click for a list of the workshops at the 2016 Women in Trades Career Fair!

The engaging, hands-on workshops are the foundation of what continues to make the Women in Trades Career Fair such an exceptional experience for attendees and workshop leaders alike.  By presenting an interactive workshop led by tradeswomen, workshop presenters have an extraordinary opportunity to connect with and inform hundreds of potential tradeswomen about their industry, showcase projects, and recruit new employees

Past workshops have included topics such as:  Concrete Stepping Stones, Wind Power, Wire a Light and Switch, Building Bird Feeders, Highway Transportation, Climb a Utility Pole, Operate a Jackhammer, Make Sheetmetal Flower Pots, and much more.

OTI staff are available to work with your organization to help plan a successful workshop, coordinate the details and logistics, and answer any questions you have about how to make the most of your workshop.  Please contact Connie Ashbrook if you have any questions about presenting a workshop at the Women in Trades Career Fair.

What Makes a Great Workshop?

Women in Trades Career Fair workshops offer participants a unique opportunity to try-out the trades.   For many young women and career seekers, the Women in Trades Career Fair may be their very first opportunity to handle a saw, wire a light and switch, or braze copper pipe. Your fantastic hands-on workshops encourage participants to take shop, study math, and apply for apprenticeship upon high school graduation. Please follow this checklist to design a great workshop:

Talk about safety and follow the safety rules yourself—Wear those safety glasses!

Hands-on and Interactive

Keep participants interested and focused! Have your workshop participants actively “doing” (building, measuring, welding, etc.) during most of the workshop. If you have a limited amount of tools, think of how your activity can be divided into stations.

Relevant to Real Life

Everyday objects like light bulbs and kitchen sinks are mysteries to be unfolded. Trades people can offer students insight into the workings of the world, and students will be fascinated and excited!

Process Leads to Product

Workshops should offer participants something to take home. This allows them to demonstrate what they learned…and because, for most youth and adults, stuff is cool! A product may be elaborate, artistic, and useful like a wooden toolbox or sheet metal card holder, or participants could simply take the scraps like the ends of copper wires used to wire a light and switch.

Utilize Tradeswomen Role Models

Tradeswomen make all the difference in showing girls and adult career seekers they, too, can do this work, and it offers an opportunity for tradeswomen to grow as leaders through the teaching experience.

Incorporate Math

Show students how much math skills matter!

Design Age-Appropriate Activities

Take into consideration participants’ body size, knowledge, attention span, and interests.

Spell Out the Next Steps

College reps and high school counselors talk to students early on about the courses they should take to be qualified applicants and successful post-high school. Verbally encourage students to take appropriate courses. Distribute information describing how to prepare and apply for apprenticeship. Whenever possible, include diverse images of women and men working in the field on brochures.

Download these tips for designing a great workshop as a .pdf file.


Please contact Connie Ashbrook at 503.335.8200 x 22 or send email to [email protected].

We welcome your thoughts and ideas, and very much look forward to working with you! Thank you for participating in Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc.’s Women in Trades Career Fair!

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

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