Summer Camp Empowers Girls to Explore Careers in Construction

Des Moines area middle and high school girls got hands-on with the trades over the course of a week-long summer camp.

young girl working constructionShutterstock/ XiXinXing

Last month in Iowa, twenty-three high school and middle school girls from the Des Moines, IA metro area passed up on more traditional summer camp experiences and instead attended the aptly-named Construction Camp for Girls.

The Construction Camp for Girls was a weeklong camp designed to expose young women to the kind of skilled work done in the construction industry in hopes of cultivating interest in the trades as a potential career path. According to a story in the Des Moines register, students spent their mornings learning about things like apprenticeship programs and hearing from women currently active in various construction fields. The afternoons were filled with activities focused around specific trades that included hands-on activities and facility tours.

“My teacher told me about the camp, but my brother really got me interested. He has taken classes in auto mechanics and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC),” freshmen Summer Haltom told the Des Moines Register. “I really just wanted to learn more, and the hands-on experiences have been great.”

As the demand for skilled labor increases, showcasing the construction trades as a possible career path for young people grows increasingly important for the industry at large. As currently just 9.9% of the construction labor force is made up of women, reaching out to young girls in the hopes of kindling an interest in the trades could have a potentially transformative influence on the industry.