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Continuing the Conversation - Women in the Trades

The event, titled “Pathways to Empowering Women in the Trades,” was hosted by Employment Training for Adults (ETA). Students, business partners, community members, WSWHE BOCES board members, and individuals interested in learning about support, pathways and opportunities for women in the trades were in attendance. 

Guests started the night off by networking. Following that time, three dynamic speakers took the stage, one at a time, to talk about possibilities, statistics, initiatives and more. The night then moved into roundtable discussion and conversations. Tables worked together to answer questions such as, what are the advantages of recruiting more women to the trades; what can businesses do to attract more female candidates into the trades; and how can schools and businesses create a positive workplace culture to support women in predominantly male trades.  

Speakers had inspiring and encouraging words to continue the conversation and support the initiative. 

Dr. Turina Parker, District Superintendent of WSWHE BOCES stated: “We are seizing the opportunity to heighten awareness and to bring the conversation about women's empowerment and achievement into focus and to shift the narrative into one of inclusion and one of leadership, one of strengthening the voices and numbers of women in the skilled trades and in leadership roles.”

Tori J.E. Riley, Vice President of the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation is very knowledgeable of the options, statistics and growth in industries, including those for the trades. She works with area businesses to connect them with partners and people as well as knows the trends in the area so she can support area businesses with sustainability and growth. 

“Training and certifications [in trades] keep our regional workforce steady and ready for the industry. Women are changing the tide in the trade market. … there has never been a better time with more options for women entering the workforce, especially in non-traditional positions and skilled trades” said Riley. 

Mr. Douglas Ford, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Curtis Lumber Company is on several boards and organizations supporting economic development and growth in the area. He wants women to have an awareness of all of the opportunities available to them.

“A young person going into the trades right now, if they apply themselves, has the opportunity to move so fast up through different positions, and the earning potential is significant.” Ford said. He encourages everyone to inform parents of young students  as well to help them understand all the possibilities for young people. 

The US Department of Labor Statistics reports that women are substantially underrepresented (relative to their share of total employment) in agriculture, mining, construction, manufacturing, and transportation and utilities. There are opportunities for learning and careers in these industries that WSWHE BOCES aims to help women realize are out there. ETA, WSWHE BOCES and CTE are focused on narrowing the skills gap.

Employment Training for Adults is a division of WSWHE BOCES.

Food was provided by the CTE Culinary Arts & Hospitality students. 

Flower arrangements provided by the CTE Horticulture, Landscaping & Floral Design students.

For more photos, click here to go to Facebook.