By Hannah Becker, MCPSS student intern
Girls going into the 9th and 10th grades are learning this week about carpentry, welding, electrical work and plumbing/pipefitting at the Girls Can Camp at the Bryant Career Tech Center.
The camp gives the girls an opportunity to learn basic skills in the construction trades, and to learn whether it’s something they may want to eventually pursue as a career.
Sixteen girls from throughout the county are participating in the weeklong camp, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. It is sponsored by Alabama Power, Austal, Ashton, Performance Contractors, Fluor, Go Build Alabama, G.A. West, Airgas, AGC Alabama and Mobile County Public Schools.
The instructors at the camp come from MCPSS, Alabama Power and other companies. One of them is Stacy Walley, an employee development coordinator at Alabama Power’s Barry Steam Plant, who said companies like hers are encouraging women to pursue careers in traditionally male-dominated construction trades.
“Not only are we teaching skill trades at camp, but we are creating relationships,” Walley said.
Guided by professionals in the respective fields, campers are learning skills through hands-on projects like building sprinklers, wooden lamp boxes and lamps with USB ports.
“I feel camp can show me that I can do anything a guy can do and possibly more,” said camper Elizabeth Gates, who will be a freshman at Baker this fall.