Celebrating Women in Trades

Women have to see it to be it. The WSWHE BOCES Women In Trades Initiative is focused on narrowing the skills gap and encouraging young women to enter the trades, in particular traditionally male dominated fields such as automotive technology, auto body repair, construction trades, environmental conservation & forestry, heavy equipment operation, HVAC-R, industrial and performance machining, power sports technology and welding. 


WSWHE BOCES has been providing fun and engaging hands-on activities that educate and inform female students about the earning potential, career opportunities and educational resources that are available to them. 

In December, the Southern Adirondack Education Center and F. Donald Myers Education Center hosted events to highlight the importance of women in the trades, opportunities available to them and allowed time with current women in the trades to speak with young women in school thinking about their future. 


The events happening in March are as follows: 


March 13 - Early College Career Academy Women in Trades Day

Local area students will connect with tradeswomen, interact with industry insiders, explore internship opportunities and engage with one another while working on interactive program activities. 


March 27 - Employment Training for Adults Women in Trades Event

Attendees will continue the conversation of empowering women in the trades from last year. They will meet with local industry partners and discuss how to explore the ETA educational programs. In addition, attendees will learn more about the challenges women face and work on discovering more ways to encourage women in the trades.


“We recognize the value young women have in meeting the workforce demands of our region; and we are not alone. Through a collaborative effort with our component school districts and business partners, the WSWHE BOCES has put a focus on recruiting, retaining, and supporting young women in the trades. Our hope is to encourage young women to see themselves in non-traditional programs by creating opportunities for them to experience the trades with a fresh perspective,” says Jared Davis, Director of Career & Technical Education at WSWHE BOCES. 


It looks like the efforts are paying off. So far the initiative has resulted in enrollment of female students in male dominated trades more than doubling. 


“We have grown from about 21 female students in 2020, to currently having 55 female students enrolled in these programs,” says Davis.


Regionally, 1.2% of automotive technicians and carpenters are women. Yet both industries' entry level hourly wage is above the Regional Living Wage Floor according to the Workforce Development Institute. With more experience individuals can earn $38-40 per hour, with no college degree required. WSWHE BOCES will continue to support building the region’s talent pipeline, particularly when it comes to women.


For more information, statistics and highlights click here.