On International Women’s Day (March 8), we’re highlighting young women who got their start in the skilled trades at our Career & Technical School
Whether it is in building trades, welding or heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration, the role in these fields that young women studying at our Career & Technical School programs play is notable.
Current students say they enjoy challenging peoples’ perceptions of what careers they should pursue.
Twins Cora and Isabel Tribunella are both pursuing careers in construction through the Building Trades program at Capital Region BOCES.
“For me, I think it’s important to get out of your comfort zone and one of the reasons I came here is because it’s not typical. Some people come up to me and say, “what are you doing there?’ and other people come up and say ‘that’s so cool’,” said Cora Tribunella.
“I think it’s great we are not going into a field that people might think we should,” added Isabel Tribunella.
Building Trades Senior Enid Waring of Schenectady said she couldn’t envision herself being tied to a computer for the rest of her life.
“I prefer hands-on learning. I don’t like to sit at a desk or a computer, I like to actually be doing something. My grandfathers are in construction and I grew up visiting them at their work sites and it just seems right to me,” said Waring.
For Darielys Maya Galan, who aspires to a career as a welder, it is all about finding the career that is right for her.
“I like hands-on learning and I like to work with heat so this is a good fit,” said the Guilderland junior.
For Niskayuna senior Adrianna Holden, pursuing a career in the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC/R) industry is all about family tradition.
“I went [to work] with my dad (who is an HVAC technician) when I was 12 and I have been going ever since,” said Holden. “I like hands-on activities and just doing stuff. It doesn’t bother me being the only girl in the classroom.”
Alumni Challenge Peoples’ Perception Of Women In The Trades
Alumni say they likewise enjoy challenging peoples’ perceptions of what careers they should pursue.
Take for example, class of 2017 graduates Samantha Petrosino from Middleburgh who went on to college to pursue a degree as an underwater welder and Victoria Carl from Voorheesville who went to college for a career as a diesel mechanic and now owns her own business—Carl’s Advanced Automotive & Truck Repair Center.
“BOCES is where I really found my passion. I always worked on cars, but BOCES I where I got into trucks and gained knowledge and really solidified what I wanted to do,” said Carl.
Petrosino, who grew up in a family of educators, said she refused to be stereotyped. In addition to being one of only a handful of young women in the welding program when she attended, she was also a cheerleader.
“It really confuses people. They say, ‘you’re a welder?’ and I tell them ‘yeah, it’s fun.’ They don’t know what to say. It challenges what people think. I love it. Women power all the way,” she said as a senior.
According to Workwave, women in skilled trades are in demand as an untapped resource for skilled workers in trade jobs, as there is a predicted shortage of the labor force and an anticipated growth in job opportunity. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics occupational employment projection expects such employment to grow by 8.4 million jobs.
Our Career & Technical School has long offered such opportunities for all students. Visit our Career & Technical School program page to learn more about our courses and programs.