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Central PA HBA and Penn State Partner to Educate Women About Skilled Trades

Education + Training

Central PA HBA and Penn State Partner to Educate Women About Skilled Trades

The Builders Association of Central Pennsylvania is partnering with Penn State University to teach young women about opportunities for career development in the skilled trades

June 2, 2023
Young women welders at work
Image: Kyta Willets / stock.adobe.com

Over the past several years, the Builders Association of Central Pennsylvania (BACP) has seen a large boost in engagement among young women from across the region due to its strong ties with several schools in the area, one being the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center (PHRC), a component of Penn State’s College of Engineering.

Earlier this year, the BACP’s Professional Women in Building (PWB) council teamed up with Penn State for a “Construct Your Future” event to promote women in the trades. The day-long career-development workshop hosted nearly 50 students from six high schools and trade schools in the surrounding area. Those students connected with professional women builders who also gave presentations to the attendees about the industry and their careers, NAHB reports.

“The event was a success on so many levels and it let the students see that there are in fact a lot of highly accomplished women in the construction industry,” said Keri O’Shea, executive officer of the BACP. “It was an invaluable experience for them to learn how they did it, connect those dots and envision themselves in those roles.”

O’Shea says they intend to make the event an annual affair, as one of several regular collaborations between BACP and PHRC. Ever since the PHRC identified a need more than five years ago to help address gender equality in home building, they have partnered with the local PWB Council on countless other workshops, trainings and projects to highlight career opportunities for women.

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