On September 1, 2021

Summer Trailblazers participants graduate; program will expand into Rutland this fall

By Missy Mackin, Vermont Works for Women program manager

It’s been a hot summer and the construction and clean energy trades have been as hot as the weather, with many businesses across Vermont hiring new employees. This is great news for the eight participants who recently completed the summer cohort of Vermont Works for Women’s highly successful Trailblazers program, where they got hands-on practice in the basics of carpentry, electrical, solar and HVAC, and earned their NCCER and OSHA-10 certifications.

Courtesy Vermont Works for Women
The program provides access to mentors, job shadows and on-the-job training with the tools of the trades.

Graduating from the program on Aug. 21, they were fresh off of their three-week, onsite work experiences with local employers large and small — Birdseye of Vermont, Vermont Agency of Transportation, Wooden Hammer, Breadloaf Construction, SunCommon, VerMod Homes, Champlain Water District, Richmond Water Department, Energy Co Op of Vermont, and Lewis Creek Builders.

Taught and mentored by Vermont tradeswomen and supervised by folks experienced in their trades, these newest Trailblazers have worked in the real world of construction, honing their skills in barns, shops, highways, water treatment plants and on really, really hot roofs.

Integrating this work experience into the program has not only expanded participants’ opportunities to get hands-on time in the field, but has introduced them to the trades in ways that can’t be replicated in the classroom. And working closely with veteran tradespeople has benefited everyone involved by bridging the gaps between seasoned pros and folks starting out in their careers.

As crew leaders have said of their participants, “She’s fitting in perfectly,” and “She has a great future here.” Their strong work ethic and willingness to show up and learn have balanced out the inexperience. Now that they’ve gained so many skills and their time in the field is coming to an end, and it’s exciting to see what they choose for their careers.

Trailblazers will also be expanding to Rutland Sept. 27-Nov.13 at Rutland’s new makerspace, The MINT, and incorporate a new component — an introduction to manufacturing. Virtual information sessions are available on Sept. 9 and Sept. 20.

To apply for the 7-week hands-on training or for more information, visit vtworksforwomen.org.

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts