Free Totally Trades workshops aim to get Maine girls into underrepresented fields

AUGUSTA — Totally Trades workshops, coordinated by New Ventures Maine, will be offered virtually this spring with online sessions being provided on the mornings of April 27, April 29, May 4 and May 6.
The sessions are designed to encourage girls to consider careers in fields traditionally underrepresented by women. Eight virtual workshop sessions will be offered to girls interested in nontraditional careers in trade and technical fields, highlighting eight high-wage, high-demand career sectors: Automotive, Criminal Justice, Building and Design, Earn and Learn, Renewable Energy, Communications and Connectivity, Fire and Rescue, and Computer Technology.
“We want to provide girls in grades 8-12 with information and support in career sectors of interest to them,” said Suzanne Senechal-Jandreau, conference planner for New Ventures Maine, a statewide community outreach program of the University of Maine at Augusta. “Maine’s career and technical education schools and Community College system are doing amazing work introducing students to programs such as public safety, building trades, electrical construction, and heavy equipment operations as well as other trade and technical careers.”
She said the University of Maine System is also providing two and four-year degree programs in environmental protection, renewable energy, engineering and other growing fields.
“These careers, for the most part, are considered high wage and high demand in Maine,” she said. “Maine employers are looking for skilled tradeswomen and we want young women to have access to information that can lead them to good paying and secure jobs in the future. It’s a win-win for students and the Maine economy.”
The workshops are free and open to girls in grades 8 through 12 who are exploring or considering employment in the featured career sectors. Funding for the virtual Totally Trades Career Week is provided by the Maine Department of Education/CTE and the Maine Department of Transportation. Additional support and in-kind contributions are provided by businesses and community partners.
For information, visit www.totallytradesmaine.org, or contact Senechal-Jandreau at 207-768-9635 or senechal@maine.edu.