Women students put a charge in their futures through the Capital Region BOCES Electrical Trades program

With an estimated 2% of all electricians in the United States women, it would not be shocking to find only a few women interested in the trade in high school.

But in fact, there are currently five female students enrolled in the Capital Region BOCES Electrical Trades program and they are not only putting a charge in their future, but they are also challenging societal assumptions about gender and careers.

Alicia Gray and Katelyn Griffin are seniors enrolled in the Electrical Trades program at the Capital Region BOCES Career & Technical Education Center – Schoharie Campus. Meanwhile, Meadow Stella, Alaina Williams and Molli Egan are juniors enrolled in the program on the Albany Campus.

“I like working with my hands and learning new things,” said Egan, who attends BOCES from the Scotia-Glenville Central School District.

“Electrical trades offer you good skills because people always have electrical problems, and if you can repair it yourself, you are not paying someone else to do it,” added Stella, a Guilderland student.

March is Women’s History Month and throughout the month, Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical School will be shining a spotlight on women in the trades – those women who are challenging gender stereotypes and building solid futures through their time at Capital Region BOCES.
Gray and Griffin are just months away from graduation and are looking to expand their education and start work in the industry.

Griffin, who attends BOCES from Schalmont High School, plans to either join the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) or pursue further training at Hudson Valley Community College. Gray plans to pursue a business degree in college and work in the family electrical business.

“My grandfather is an electrician, and he has been my main inspiration. I have worked with him since I was a little kid. Just seeing him work and do his job has really pushed me to take the electrical trades course at BOCES and to work towards going into the electrical field,” said Gray.

The Electrical Trades students say they are inspired to work in the industry because they like working with their hands and challenging society norms.

“I like hands-on learning, and this might be a good career for me,” said Williams, a Guilderland student. She added that she also might take her education to the next level and become an electrical engineer.

“My favorite part of the day is when we are working in the lab,” added Griffin. “I can’t sit at a desk all day.”

The students are among more than 90 high school juniors and seniors on the Schoharie and Albany campuses who are learning fundamental skills in electrical theory through classroom instruction and hands-on work. Students in the two-year program learn basic electrical skills and cutting-edge, 21st-century green technologies—all of which prepares them for the in-demand field of electrical trades.

Enrollment is currently underway for the 2024-25 school year. For more information on career and technical school programs, go to https://www.capitalregionboces.org/career-technical-education/courses-programs/