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A Rich History: Women in the Trades

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 26, 2021 11:19:32 AM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, careers, Women in the trades, women in trades

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When you think of the building trades, you think of men, plain and simple. But did you know that women actually have a long history in the trades and labor movement?

The earliest records go back to the 13th century in Spain, but women were likely involved in building long before then. Though historically, women often haven’t gotten the fame or the glory for much of the work they’ve done, women have proven time and time again, century after century, that work in the building trades is far from “man’s work.”

For example, did you know that we can thank a woman, Emily Warren Roebling, for the Brooklyn Bridge? Her father in-law designed the bridge, and her husband took over as the chief engineer on the job after his father passed away. That is, until he himself fell very ill and became bedridden. Dedicated to seeing the project to completion, Emily first served as a liaison, relaying information between her husband and his assistants on-site. But over time, Emily took over the majority of the project management, day-to-day supervision, and became unofficially known as the chief engineer of the project. In 1883, after 14 years of construction, 10 of them with Emily at the helm, Emily Warren Roebling was the first person to cross the bridge and is hailed as the first woman engineer.

And of course, we all know and love Rosie the Riveter of the World War II era, who made a HUGE impact on a generation of women in the workforce. Such an impact, that in less than 5 years, women rose from 27% to 37% of the workforce thanks to the government’s campaign. These women were the pioneers for women in the skilled trades, and they did much more than rivet - they served as electricians, welders, engine repair mechanics, manufacturers, and much more - and they did it well. They took great pride in their work and played an undeniable role in the war effort. Without these women’s gumption, our country, economy, and our current workforce would have suffered considerably. They helped to pave the way.

Sadly, after the war was over many women returned to their pre-war lives, and their presence in the trades waned over time. Today, women comprise only 10.3 percent of the construction workforce in the US. Women are clearly an untapped resource for the skilled trades. The benefits of having more women in the workforce are undeniable, and the skilled trades want and need more women.

Ladies, the skilled trades need you! The career opportunities are bountiful, the work is rewarding, and the sky is truly the limit in terms of opportunities. Did you know that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median weekly income of a union construction worker substantially exceeds sixteen out of the twenty most common occupations for women? Amazing!

While it may not be widely talked about or celebrated, women have a rich history in the trades, and it’s only just beginning. We applaud the women who have forged paths for the women of today, and we invite you to #ChoosetoChallenge the notion that the building trades are best suited for men.

Want to learn more about a rewarding career in the trades? Find out how to get started.

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Find a Life That You Love with a Career in the Trades

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 12, 2021 1:37:34 PM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, construction industry, trades, construction jobs, careers, career opportunities

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What is it like to be a trades worker? First things first, in the construction trades, we work hard to make things that are real. When someone asks us what we do, we say, “I’m a sheet metal worker,” or “I’m an electrical worker.” We never have to say, “I’m an associate marketing coordinator reporting to the assistant vice president of sales.” We make bridges, stadiums, houses, roads, machines, things that are real, things that last.

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New Beginnings: Why You Should Consider A Career in the Construction Trades

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 11, 2021 10:30:00 AM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, trades, skilled labor shortage, construction jobs, careers, career opportunities

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2020 was quite a year. While it has been trying for all of us, it’s also forced good and needed reflection on what we really value, and what we want from life moving forward, both personally and professionally. Coupled with a new year and the new resolutions that come with it, 2021 is sure to be a year of progress, change, and growth.

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Contractors’ biggest fear is not lack of work, but lack of workers

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 31, 2019 11:19:32 AM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, construction industry, apprenticeships, Construct Your Future, career opportunities

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A study ran by an Ohio-based accounting and financial advisory firm shows that the largest threat to the construction industry is not lack of work, but lack of workers.

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Investigating the investment in college – what’s the cost?

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 20, 2017 4:45:30 PM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, construction jobs, apprenticeships, Construct Your Future, career opportunities

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“Is college worth it?”

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The Trades could be your best fit

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 7, 2017 10:00:00 AM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, construction industry, construction jobs, apprenticeships, Construct Your Future

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Are you interested in learning how things are made, buildings are constructed, or about the hidden processes and systems that make the world run?  

Are you interested in studying devices and systems and figuring out how they work, or solving problems that other people don't care about or just can't solve? 

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Can you afford to go to college?

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 28, 2017 8:45:00 AM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, construction industry, construction outlook, careers, apprenticeships, Construct Your Future

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Chances are you have heard the argument about why everyone should go to college. 

A good education leads to a good job and yada, yada, yada, in 40 years you should be able to retire. 

The problem though, is no one talks about the large elephant in the room – can you actually afford to go to college? 

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Now that you have a college degree, what is your life like?

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 20, 2017 10:20:00 AM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, apprenticeship, trades, Construct Your Future

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Do you have a college degree? 

Anymore, it doesn't really seem to matter, does it? 

Maybe you're thinking that it would have been better if you hadn't gone to college; at least you wouldn't have all that debt hanging over your head, making you anxious, forcing you to save money and live with your parents. 

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Top 10 Worthless Degrees

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 15, 2017 8:30:00 AM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, construction outlook, careers, apprenticeships, Construct Your Future

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Are you thinking about going to college and are unsure about what you want to study?

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Where are the jobs?

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 14, 2017 2:05:00 PM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, apprenticeship, trades, Schools

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Like other students across America, you have probably been told by your teachers, counselors and parents that college is the only way to get a good job. 

The truth is, millions of college graduates struggle to find employment in their preferred field. 

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