Women Break into Construction Industry Through OR Training

Posted: 11/6/2015

Women Break into Construction Industry

Portland, OR -- On Thursday, two dozen women were pulling up carpet, tearing down walls, and pulling out insulation as they tore down a strip club to turn it into a community center. 

The former strip club known as the Sugar Shack was known for prostitution and tax evasion.  

Yolanda Sandoval, one of the women on the construction site, has her sites set on joining the industry.  "I'm excited and so eager," said Sandoval.

The reason for her excitment is that for so long she was told she couldn't cut it in the construction industry.

"Oregon Tradeswomen is a pre-apprenticeship training program that prepares low-income women for high wage skills in the construction trades," said Amy James Neel, an instructor in the program.  Neel explained that nationally, only 3% of the workforce in the construction industry is female.  The percentage in oregan is at 6.7% thanks to the program.

Neel continued to explain that there is a huge need for construction workers, but the workforce is shrinking.  The hope of the program is that women will replace the retiring workers.

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