Whittier Tech Students Take Part in Girls in Trade Conference and Career Fair

Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School students attended the Massachusetts Girls in Trade Conference and Career Fair in April. (Courtesy photograph.)

Two dozen seniors from Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, representing the carpentry, electrical, engineering, HVAC and metal fabrication pathways, took part in the Massachusetts Girls in Trade Conference and Career Fair April 13.

Superintendent Maureen Lynch said the event is designed to inspire female students to pursue nontraditional careers in the building trades and provide them with support and resources. Students networked with female professionals from various trades, learned about the process of applying to the union and explored job opportunities.

“It is a goal of ours to empower female students to pursue paths where women are underrepresented,” 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.”

The event took place at IBEW Local 103 in Dorchester, and students were accompanied by Engineering Instructor Jaylene dos Santos, HVAC Instructor Scott Marchand and Carpentry Instructor John Lavigne.

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.

Jazzy Dang, a junior from Haverhill studying in the Electrical program, said the evcent made her think that pursuing joining IBEW Local 103 might be a good pathway for her after graduation. She explained the union has a partnership with Wentworth Institute of Technology to earn credits while employed.

Vocational areas are considered nontraditional if individuals of one gender comprise fewer than 25% of those employed in that field.

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