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Hope Renovations Nonprofit Trains Women for Construction Careers

Women in Construction

Hope Renovations Nonprofit Trains Women for Construction Careers

Women are largely underrepresented in the skilled trades, but Nora El-Khouri Spencer, founder of the Hope Renovations nonprofit, seeks to change that with more inclusive education and training resources

May 24, 2022
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Women account for just 4% of all workers in the construction trades, but as the industry faces a massive labor shortage in its efforts to rebuild from a costly pandemic, it’ll need all hands on deck. Hope Renovations, a North Carolina-based nonprofit, hopes to whittle away at a gender disparity in the skilled trades by providing females with education, training, and certifications needed to secure a well-paying construction job.

Hope Renovations’ 10-week program offers comprehensive hands-on experience in the workshop and on an actual jobsite. The program is free for everyone, but founder and licensed general contractor Nora El-Khouri Spencer also offers a stipend to assist women who are below a certain income level with transportation and childcare, CNN reports.

"If we really want to get women into this industry, we need to take out all the barriers that we can," she said. "We want to make it as easy for them as possible."

Her approach seems to be working. Since July 2020, more than 40 women and non-binary individuals have completed the program. Two-thirds of those graduates have found jobs in the industry, Spencer says.

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