Philadelphia Building Trades Partners with Bucks for ‘Girls Ignite’ Trades Expo

Friday, April 26, 2024 at 3:30 PM

Female middle school students representing various building and construction trades as well as emergency responders pose for a group photo during ‘Girls Ignite'
'Girls Ignite' Trades Career Expo
Last updated: Friday, April 26, 2024 at 3:14 PM

Workforce Development Effort Aims to Raise Awareness Among Young Women for Careers in Construction

The Philadelphia Building & Construction Trades Council, led by Business Manager Ryan N. Boyer once again partnered with Bucks County Community College today for “Girls Ignite”, a one-day career exploration expo in which female Building Trades’ members introduced young women to the many benefits of careers in the unionized construction industry.

Approximately 60 young female middle school students from the Bristol Township School District gathered in the community college’s new, state-of-the-art Center for Advanced Technologies facility on the Epstein Campus at Lower Bucks to be introduced to the basics in a wide variety of unionized construction industry jobs, including:

  • Sheet Metal
  • Insulators
  • Finishing Trades (Painters, Glaziers)
  • Electricians
  • Carpenters
  • Boilermakers
  • Elevator Constructor

In addition, the students gained valuable insights into firefighting as a career option. Bucks County Community College operates the third largest fire school in the country which provides both basic and advanced public safety training. Bristol Township Fire Department participated in today’s event as well.

“We have forged a great partnership with Bucks County Community College, beginning with the establishment of the 10-week Building & Construction Trades Pre-Apprenticeship program, the first of its kind in Pennsylvania,” said Building Trades Business Manager Boyer. “Today’s ’Girls Ignite’ trades career expo is intended to interest young women in the construction industry and to empower them to pursue careers that have long been the province of their male counterparts.”

“Bucks County Community College is proud to once again join forces with the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council to present today’s ‘Girls Ignite’ event,” said Tom Jennings, Chair of the Bucks County Community College Board of Trustees. “Bucks is committed to providing our students with pathways to meaningful and relevant career opportunities, and this collaboration furthers that commitment.”

Female recruitment efforts such as Pre-Apprenticeship programs, “Girls Ignite,” “Rosie’s Girls” and others are clearly working. As of 2022 (the most recent national analysis), there were approximately 1.3 million women working in the U.S. construction industry, which accounted for 10.9 percent of the entire national construction workforce. That equates to a significant 53 percent increase in women working in construction over the past decade.

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