Nearly 350 female students in total attended Totally Trades! conferences this fall. Events were held at the Mid-Coast School of Technology (Rockland), Washington County Community College (Calais), and Foster Career and Technical Education Center (Farmington).
Totally Trades! conferences are day-long events designed to encourage girls to consider careers in fields traditionally underrepresented by women. Each conference provides hands-on workshop sessions focused on trade and technical careers. Large group learning opportunities are all also offered.
“We want to give girls a hands-on workshop experience to spark their interest and raise their awareness about a career field they may not otherwise consider,” said Suzanne Senechal-Jandreau, conference planner and regional manager of the Aroostook center for New Ventures Maine (NVME).
“Maine’s career and technical education schools and Community College system are doing amazing work introducing young women to programs in nontraditional fields. Sessions such as building and metal trades, automotive technology, and heavy equipment operations as well as other trade and technology careers are provided. We present just a sample of opportunities that may be available through local education programs,” explains Suzanne.
The conferences are free, one-day events for girls in grades 8 through 12 (each conference sets its own registration criteria). Funding for the conference was provided by the Maine Department of Education/Career and Technical Education and the Maine Department of Transportation. Additional support and in-kind support was contributed by host venues, as well as other local businesses and community partners.
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New Ventures Maine is a statewide organization committed to improving the economic lives of Maine people and families.