Growing the Next Generation of Women in Trades

Gigi Ottmann-Deeves, EEO Officer from the Civil Rights Office of MaineDOT

New Ventures Maine has been partnering with the Maine Department of Transportation, Maine’s Department of Education‘s Career and Technical Education programs, and the Maine Community College system for many years to provide Totally Trades! Conferences for 8th-12th grade girls, pursuing or interested in exploring, nontraditional trade and technology careers.  In the fall of 2021, the conference transitioned to a virtual career week and this spring, virtual sessions will be offered on the mornings of Tuesdays and Thursdays during the last week of April and the first week of May.

Gigi Ottmann-Deeves, EEO officer from the Civil Rights office of MaineDOT, has participated in Totally Trades! Conferences around the state for the past many years.  She was a presenter in the 2021 fall Highway and Bridge Construction Trades virtual session and will be a presenter in our upcoming Earn and Learn session highlighting On-the-Job (OJT) and apprenticeship training opportunities in Maine.  Ottmann-Deeves notes, “It is important for us to serve and educate girls about the trades – providing good information about education and training opportunities that are available to them.” She goes on to assert, “It is crucial to reach young women as they are considering careers to introduce the trades as an option…it can be a bit more difficult to replace the hands-on experiences that in-person conferences provide, but we need to embrace technology through the provision of virtual sessions and we have successfully been able to do that.”

This spring’s sessions will highlight the following career sectors; Automotive, Criminal Justice, Building & Design, Renewable Energy, Communications & Connectivity, Fire & Rescue, and Computer Technology, in addition to a session focused on Earn and Learn. For more information about Totally Trades or to register students visit totallytradesmaine.org or visit us @totally trades on Facebook or Instagram.