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Women are talking up the trades

May 23rd, 2009 · 1 Comment

Two ‘women in the skilled trades’ events highlighted the week.

In St. Catherines Ontario (Canada), Marissa McTasney was one of the featured speakers at the Niagara Region’s first skilled trades inspiration session. She had worked in construction until two years ago, when she started her own clothing line, a line of women’s workwear.

“(Women in trades) are setting their hours, their rates. They get to dictate what they’re paid,” she told the small crowd.

“Knowing that you can make a decent income is an attraction. Besides that, it stems from a need, like a single female homeowner who suddenly has a plumbing leak and they want to repair it,” YWCA job developer Graves chimed in.

“There are just so many opportunites,” says McTasney. Her line of womens’ workwear can be found at major retailers including Home Depot, Wal-Mart and Zellers.

Meanwhile in Portland, Oregon, ths year’s Women in Trades Career Fair offered young women hands-on experience and straight-out encouragement. Women as young as 14 took a look at opportunities for women in the skilled trades. “I felt like this was a real opportunity to do something different,” said Mindy Luis. “I’m definitely going to look into trade school as an option, when I graduate from high school.”

“I talked to a firefighter who found out about the trades when she came here 17 years ago,” said Connie Ashbrook, executive director of Oregon Tradeswomen. “She came to one of the first fairs and then became a carpenter.”

Tags: Canada · Skilled Trades · Women in Trades

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