Girls encouraged to look into skilled trades

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Looming retirements in the trade industries are providing opportunities for future workers to learn a skill and gain a career.

The Women in Trades career fair, held Thursday, focused on showing young girls all about different trades.

Eighth-grader Sarah Frisby came back for a second year.

“We’ve done it for two years and it’s really, really fun,” she said.

Another 8th-grader, Jenica Ocker, said, “I like building things like wooden things, and I liked metal welding. That was fun!”

Using a jack hammer, roofing, operating heavy machinery and electrical work are just some of the trade opportunities available.

“The trades are going to see a record number of retirements,” said Connie Ashbrook, the executive director of Oregon Tradeswomen. “There’s definitely a need for more women to think about this and consider these careers.”

Employers often ask for women trade workers because of their work ethic and ability, officials said.

Apprenticeships range between $12 and $17 per hour, with journey level workers earning $20 to $30 per hour.

“We make sure that young women and girls and adult women know about all these wonderful careers that give you a living wage, a family wage and are very satisfying as well,” Ashbrook said.

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