The Maine Centers for Women, Work, and Community (WWC), along with the Maine Administrators of Career and Technical Education (MACTE), have teamed up and will be criss-crossing the state to introduce girls to non-traditional career opportunities.
The Totally Trades events in Bangor (April 8, 2011), Presque Isle (April 27, 2011), Rockland (May 11, 2011) and Future Pathways in Skowhegan (April 14) will bring professional women, representing various careers, together to show Maine’s middle and high school girls the wide range of career opportunities available to them.
Don Cannan, Executive Director at MACTE (www.mainecte.org), says joining with Women, Work, and Community on this initiative simply makes sense. “In partnership, both organizations encourage young women to consider the trade and technical areas usually dominated by their male counterparts.”
MACTE is the official organization for Maine’s 27 career and technical education (CTE) schools. One of their goals is to ensure that students acquire the high-quality technical skills to help with entry into an ever-changing workplace and society.
According to Cannan, Maine’s career and technical education schools have seen a recent upswing in attendance and would like to see that include more of Maine’s young women. Maine’s network CTE schools offer a wide range of program areas in non-traditional career fields such as Building Trades, Metal Trades, Electronics, Engineering, Automotive Technologies, Small Engine Repair, Green Technologies, Composite Technologies, Wood Harvesting, and Truck Driving.
At each of the events, hosted in conjunction with a career and technical education school, WWC (www.womenworkandcommunity.org) has set up hands-on learning opportunities, including the opportunity to use equipment common in the careers and meet with women already in these fields. Key sponsors of the Totally Trades events are the Maine Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, and the Maine Department of Education.
The Executive Director of Women, Work, and Community, Gilda Nardone, says Maine’s young women might be surprised to learn about the opportunities that are before them. “These events should open the eyes of a lot of people. In Maine we have the educational and training opportunities to support women in these jobs, as well as opportunity for career advancement for well compensated, satisfying work.”
One of WWC’s goals is to improve the economic lives of Maine women and their families by increasing their income, assets, and earning potential and their overall quality of life.