HAVERHILL – Superintendent Maureen Lynch is pleased to announce that Whittier Tech students attended the Massachusetts Girls in Trade Conference and Career Fair last week.
On Wednesday, April 13, 24 Whittier Tech seniors from the Carpentry, Electrical, Engineering, HVAC, and Metal Fabrication pathways attended the event at IBEW Local 103 in Dorchester. They were accompanied by Engineering Instructor Jaylene dos Santos, HVAC Instructor Scott Marchand, and Carpentry Instructor John Lavigne.
The event is designed to inspire female students to pursue nontraditional careers in the building trades, and provide them with support and useful resources. At the event, students networked with female professionals from various trades, learned about the process of applying to the union, and explored job opportunities.
Students spoke with Local 103 member Tori Kitchings, a 2019 Whittier Tech Electrical alumna from Haverhill. She shared her experience as a woman in the electrical industry and provided students with advice on how to succeed in industries historically pursued by men.
“It is a goal of ours to empower female students to pursue paths where women are underrepresented,” Superintendent Lynch said. “We feel that it is important to expose our students to opportunities like these so that they can envision themselves in these spaces regardless of their identity. When students see people similar to them in their industry, they are more likely to succeed, especially when given opportunities to network.”
Whittier Tech is committed to celebrating students pursuing nontraditional trades, including through after-school clubs, open house displays, guest speakers, advertising campaigns, and field trips.
“This definitely makes me think that pursuing joining IBEW Local 103 might be a good pathway for me after graduation. The union has a partnership with Wentworth Institute of Technology to earn credits while employed which is another great benefit of this industry. Networking with different construction companies was awesome, they had lots of free merchandise and it was great to see so many women in our field doing work they love,” said Jazzy Dang, a junior from Haverhill studying in the Electrical program.
Vocational areas are considered nontraditional if individuals of one gender comprise fewer than 25% of those employed in that field.
“This is my fourth year working with the Massachusetts Girls in Trade Organization, as a woman in an industry where I often was the only one, It’s amazing to see the growth in our industries and their commitment to equality,” Instructor dos Santos said.
About Massachusetts Girls in Trade
Massachusetts Girls in Trade was launched in 2015 by a partnership of educational, governmental and union organizations with a shared goal of supporting and encouraging female career and technical education students and alumnae to pursue careers in the building trades. The group’s mission is to help female students in middle school and high school — as well as recent high school graduates — to learn about and start careers in high-paying, high-skilled careers in union construction trades.”