More than 50 high school girls from Alabama and Georgia attended a day camp program sponsored by BE&K Construction of Birmingham, AL. The camp is designed to provide young women with an introduction to basic electrical, carpentry and welding skills. Campers also learn about career opportunities in construction from the instructors, women with craft skills who work at regional BE&K projects.
“The instructors serve as role models. They are the best qualified to talk with the girls about the advantages of a career in construction and the benefits of being certified in multiple crafts,” said Robin Paulding, BE&K camp founder. “Three out of four girls currently enrolled in the school were introduced to the construction career track through this summer camp experience.”
The Birmingham camp, which was hosted at the Shades Valley-Dabbs Campus Vocational Center, ran from Monday, July 21 to Thursday, July 24. Participants had the opportunity to wield 1,200 F (649 C) welding rods as they learn basic industrial metal welding techniques. Camp concluded with a visit to the Honda plant expansion in Lincoln, AL.
“We hope these young women will build enough confidence with their skills to enroll in our Industrial Construction School Program, which operates during the calendar year,” said Paulding.
The BE&K program was launched in the summer of 2000, with just nine girls enrolled. The Birmingham program has doubled in size each year, and this summer marked the expansion of the camp in Carrollton, GA. “We are finishing a power plant project in Wansley and our long-term goal is to expand the camp to as many areas of the country where we work,” said Pauldling.
Guidebooks on organizing the girl’s camp program and support materials are available at no cost to not-for-profit organizations who work with adolescent girls or women searching for career alternatives.
For more information call 205/972-6688.