WWC recently organized two successful Totally Trades conferences – one in Westbrook on October 19 and a second in Calais on October 26. All in all, nearly 200 girls were in attendance at the conferences. The Calais conference, hosted by Washington County Community College, featured a new video directed and produced by female students from St. Croix Regional Technology Center (SCRTC). The video profiles a successful female welding and commercial truck driving student. The Westbrook conference was hosted by Westbrook Regional Vocational Center (WRVC). At both conferences girls in grades 8-12 explored careers in trades and technology by participating in a variety of hands-on workshops, many taught by female instructors and professionals. As one girl said, “I think it was really fun and cool. I wish I could come again.” Another student in attendance proclaimed, “Us ladies can reach our goals without anyone getting in our way!”
Suzanne Senechal-Jandreau, Regional Manager of the Aroostook center for WWC and conference organizer for Totally Trades in Calais, remarks, “The collective energy and enthusiasm of the girls throughout the day at Totally Trades is infectious. Whether it be learning a new skill in a construction or auto-body workshop, taking a drive in a 14-wheeler, trying some self-defense moves, or being inspired by girls and women who prove that ‘men’s work’ is a misnomer, Totally Trades has something to offer for any girl considering her career options for the future.”
Primary funding for Totally Trades is provided by the Maine Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration and the Maine Department of Education/Career and Technical Education. Support from businesses includes Time Warner Cable (statewide) and Hardypond Construction (Westbrook).