Safety and health newsletter for the Oregon construction industry

May 16, 2014


Career fair builds interest for Oregon girls in trades

Women at work sign

High school students donned PPE and tested trades from pole climbing and iron working to firefighting and woodworking at the Oregon Tradeswomen Inc.'s 22nd annual Women in Trades Career Fair at the NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center in Portland on May 9.

Gabrielle Boone, a senior at Sam Barlow High School in Gresham, put on a belt and boots to climb a tower with the help of a journeyman from Portland General Electric. She already works after school at Jiffy Lube and doesn't mind being in a field traditionally dominated by men.

"I like hands-on jobs," Boone said. "I never thought I'd be the type of person to sit in an office."

Sydney Scott, who came with a Bend-based Girl Scout troop to the fair, tried her hand at torch cutting with the help of an Ironworkers Local 29 worker.

"It was hard and kind of scary trying to get it in a straight line," she said of working with the hot torch.

Dede Montgomery, with the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences at Oregon Health & Science University, worked with a group of students to help educate them about on-the-job safety hazards.

More than 1,200 high school and middle school students attended the three-day fair, geared to draw more women into construction and other trades.

girls trying out welding

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