Local program teaches young girls trade skills

Girls Build offers classes in the Rebuilding Center on North Mississippi

Girls Build offers classes for young girls that teach them new skills like working with a palm sander, Oct. 4, 2017. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A program in Portland — aimed at girls 8 to 14 years old — is sparking their interest in trades like carpentry, plumbing and electrical work.

Girls Build PDX gives young girls the opportunity to learn new skills — like working with a palm sander for the first time. The program could potentially lead these young girls to take on careers that have historically been dominated by men.

The local program hopes to inspire young girls to take on careers that have historically been dominated by men, Oct. 4, 2017. (KOIN)

Executive director of Girls Build Katie Hughes said, “We just wants girls to have the opportunity to engage in those trades or engage in those career paths as early as they can. So starting at 8 years old and getting their hands on the tools and then once they enter high school, taking those classes in wood or metals, so they can — when they graduate — go into the trades if they want to.”

All of the program’s classes are in the Rebuilding Center on North Mississippi.

Within the 90-minutes in the shop, KOIN 6 News witnessed the girls operate chop saws, palm sanders, feed lumber into a planer and use an impact drill. Wednesday’s finished product was a kid-made coat rack.

Among the classes Girls Build offers includes “Woodworking 101” and “Drum Building” — both of which are $5 for a 90-minute class.

Through these classes, Girls Build hopes to get young girls more comfortable using tools and potentially make them more inclined to take on high wage jobs in construction and other related trades.