The evening was spent networking with women in the trades, guest speakers, roundtable discussions and meeting exhibitors. Guests left with the knowledge of powerful insights and reflections from women currently working in the field.
Morgan Ogden spoke of her time in the ETA welding program where she learned about union apprenticeships which lead to her career path.
“I believe it to be one of the best opportunities, educationally and financially, I will ever have. Women in the trades are always working harder to prove that you deserve to be there, but if you stick with it, the career and skills you learn can take you anywhere and allow you to excel in your trade,” said Ogden.
The US Dept 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.
Dr. Turina M. Parker, assistant superintendent for educational and support programs for the WSWHE BOCES wants to increase awareness of career opportunities within the trades and highlight the need for a diversified skilled workforce.
“Opportunities for networking and learning more about the trades specifically as it relates to women is critical. This expo was just the beginning of creating and sustaining a culture of empowerment, inclusion and support for women and the workforce in our region,” said Parker.
Tori J E Riley, vice president and economic development specialist for the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation, discussed how skilled trades are an essential asset to our entire region.
“To be focused and supportive of women in trades is indicative of our philosophy that you can be whatever you want in our region.” said Riley. She continued by saying, “the welcoming programs coupled with industry engagement have catapulted these programs with real time and regional career paths. The region's continued growth and success are contingent on these imperative skills.”
Executive Director of the Saratoga-Warren-Washington Workforce Development Board Gretchen Steffan told the audience that there are no longer the boundaries of careers for women.
“Knowledge, skills and abilities are foundational building blocks from which you build a career path. The importance of skill-building and a range-of-skills to take you through life, provide a lifetime of employment security and the ability to become and remain self-sufficient,” said Steffan.
Guests, guest speakers and exhibitors in attendance included individuals from:
- Barton Mines LLC
- Commercial Paving Company
- Curtis Lumber Company
- D.A. Collins Family of Companies
- Eastern Millwright Regional Council
- Espey Mfg. Electronics Corp.
- Express Employment Professionals of Albany
- The Fort Miller Group, Inc.
- Galusha & Sons, LLC
- Hudson Valley Community College
- Hunt Companies, Inc.
- LEAP - Learning, Employment, Assistance, Partnership
- Local 7 Plumbers & Steamfitters
- Local Union 773
- National Grid
- North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters
- North East Fire Protection Systems, Inc.
- Saratoga Economic Development Corporation
- Stone Bridge Iron & Steel
- Teakwood Builders, Inc.
- UBC Millwrights
- U.S. Air Force Recruiting
- Veterans & Community Housing Coalition - Vethelp
- Warren County Employment & Training Administration
Employment Training for Adults is a division of WSWHE BOCES
For photos of the event, see the Facebook album.