MAGIC 2013 085By Linda A. Young, CBT, CIT, Co-Director of Camp NAWIC One of our goals at the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) is to reach out to our communities and mentor young girls about available career opportunities in the construction industry. Working together with a local high school and numerous volunteers from the construction industry, our San Diego chapter began hosting a summer camp for girls in 2008 to do just that. Camp NAWIC San Diego attracts an average of 24 high school girls each year and has hosted more than 150 campers since its inception. The camp is held at Kearny High School’s Engineering Innovation Design School. During the five-day camp, participants receive an introduction to the crafts as well as hands-on experience working on a real construction project. The camp is organized in a tiered structure to simulate how the construction industry operates. Girls attending camp for the first time are considered apprentices, and those who have previously attended are classified as journeymen. Volunteer instructors make sure that all the girls have the opportunity to try each task, whether it’s painting, cutting wood with a saw, putting on shingles, etc. Participants who have gone through at least two years of camp can apply to be the project superintendent and receive a $500 stipend at the end of camp. The project superintendent is trained on labor-load schedules and project staffing, and she accepts deliveries of materials, solves problems, supervises workers for safety and logs all job details. MAGIC 2013 003The goal of Camp NAWIC is two-fold. One, we’d like to see these girls enter the construction industry and have rewarding careers. Two, we hope to give the girls a sense of personal accomplishment and show them how a team works together to build projects. Many of our participants attend the camp initially thinking they could never learn to build, but by the end of the week, they have a real sense of accomplishment. It’s amazing to see how much the camp builds their confidence. Ultimately, the camp allows NAWIC members the opportunity to mentor young girls and provide them with professional role models. Over the past seven years, Camp NAWIC has not only introduced hundreds of girls to construction, but we have also seen several camp graduates go on to develop careers within the industry. We’re pleased to have the support of our industry partners that help make the camp a success – we couldn’t pull it off without them. It takes the whole community to make something like this work. For the rest of the story, be sure to read Camp NAWIC’s Community Builders article in the Spring/Summer 2015 issue of NCCER’s Cornerstone magazine. wicweekbuttonNCCER and its Build Your Future initiative are proud to celebrate Women in Construction Week with the National Association of Women in Construction on March 1-7. Women in Construction Week celebrates the achievements of women in the construction industry and increases the awareness of viable career choices for women in the industry.      

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About NCCER

NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curricula and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s National Registry which allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals and/or check the qualifications of possible new hires. The National Registry also assists craft professionals by maintaining their records in a secure database.