Women students empowered to pursue construction careers

The national Women in the Trades initiative, designed to increase the number of women in the skilled trades, is showing promise among this year’s new class of juniors now attending Capital Region BOCES’ Career & Technical Center programs. 

Seven young women are enrolled in the Electrical Trades, Automotive, Construction/Heavy Equipment, Manufacturing and other programs this school year at our Albany and Schoharie Career & Technical Education campuses. The students say they are enjoying challenging perceptions by pursuing nontraditional careers they are passionate about, and many of them are planning for careers in the construction industry.

“It’s been a very big passion of mine. My grandfather has his own business, and I would like to go into the family business or perhaps go to National Grid,” said Alicia Gray, a junior from Cobleskill-Richmondville High School and Electrical Trades student.

Students find joy in the trades; defy stereotypes

For many of the students, enrolling in the programs is about building a solid foundation for a rewarding career—no matter the stereotype assigned to those careers.

“When I tell people about the program I am in, they say, ‘Oh, really?’ and I say ‘Yeah, it’s what I do!’” said Brianna Diamond, a junior in the Construction/Heavy Equipment program from Middleburgh. “I think it is a fun industry and I like to make things. I think it would be a great career.” 

Our students have drawn inspiration from many places, including introduction to the trades at early ages.

“I grew up watching my family doing little projects. I watched everything they did and learned everything I could,” said Katelyn Griffin, a junior from Schalmont attending the Electrical Trades program. “I want to own a woman-based business. People say they feel more comfortable with a woman in their house doing work than a man, so I think it would make me more marketable.”

“I grew up riding on the equipment and my father is in the industry and he wants to get me into the union when I graduate,” added Katelyn Burtt, a junior who is attending the Construction/Heavy Equipment program from Berne-Knox-Westerlo. “This is the only program I had an interest in.”

Learn more about our Career & Technical Education programs

With over 40 programs and nine career clusters, Capital Region students have the opportunity to learn transferable skills and learn in a hands-on environment. Programs span industries ranging from automotive services to global fashion studies. Learn more about our Career & Technical Education program offerings.