There are more than 300,000 open jobs requiring skilled plumbers, carpenters, electricians and HVAC specialists nationwide, but according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 11% of construction workers are women.
To help fill this skilled labor gap and diversify the workforce, The Home Depot Foundation created the Path to Pro training program in 2018. This spring, the program is partnering with Girl Scouts of the USA to host a series of construction workshops for local troops.
On March 26, Team Depot – The Home Depot’s associate volunteer force – teamed up with Girl Scouts of San Jacinto for a joint pilot construction workshop to help introduce young women to the skilled trades industry.
The workshop provided hands-on carpentry experience and offered insight into meaningful construction careers for nearly 60 local Cadette, Senior and Ambassador-level Girl Scouts (8th – 12th grades). CJ Clark is a skilled tradeswoman who helped lead the participating Girl Scouts as they built ADA-compliant picnic tables. The completed tables will be distributed to Girl Scout camps across Southeast Texas.
"I shattered the glass ceiling at my school. In 7th grade, my school didn't allow girls to participate in shop class. I petitioned for the school to change these rules and when I entered 8th grade, I was the first girl at my school to take shop and drafting classes,” said CJ Clark, director of tool training center and facilities.
Gold Award Girl Scout Alexis Bartley shared her thoughts on the initiative: “Programs such as Girl Scouts and Path to Pro provide a gateway for women in construction by recognizing our role not through stereotypes but through the lens of raw ability.”
Next month, The Home Depot Foundation will host two additional construction workshops with Girl Scouts of Colorado and Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. Each session will conclude with an informative panel discussion and an opportunity for the Girl Scouts to learn more about the benefits of pursuing industry-recognized training and certifications.
Learn more about The Home Depot Foundation’s partnership with Girl Scouts of the USA and see additional upcoming events here.