UVA Girls Day inspires girls to consider the trades

By  | 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Dozens of girls came together Thursday at the University of Virginia to get an inside look at an industry that is mostly dominated by men.

The annual UVA Facilities Management Girls Day aims to get more women into the construction and trade field.

"I didn't know all of the job opportunities here," 15-year-old Haley Shifflett said. "There's a lot of stuff to do."

Shifflett is one of the dozens of girls attending this year's Girls Day.

"This kind of gets them while they're young to introduce them into a career path that they maybe wouldn't have thought of before," said Organizer Juliana Millbern, who works as an archivist for Facilities Management.

Millbern said the field mostly consists of male employees.

"It's touted to little boys at a younger age," Millbern said, "We see that in the numbers. There are way more men going through trade school."

Girls Day shows off the UVA Facilities Management Apprenticeship Program, which combines training and classroom instruction into four years.

"It's fantastic. It gets them a full-time job after they've completed the program, helps pay for their schooling," Millbern said.

The girls, aged 10 to 16, board buses to visit different construction sites on Grounds.

"They show you a little bit about what they're doing, kind of like a behind the scenes type of thing," said Shifflett.

The day opens the door to young women and encourages them to explore the trades.

"It's a great career path, so we're trying to get girls at the same age to know that they can do this if they want to," said Millbern.

"A lot of times the jobs open more to the men, so it's important that we show that we can do it too," Shifflett said.

After the construction site tours, the girls gathered at the Darden School of Business for a vendor fair where they spoke face-to-face with professionals in the field.

The comments sections of CBS19News.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. CBS19News.com tracks IP addresses. Repeat violators may be banned from posting comments.
View Comment Guidelines
powered by Disqus