HAVERHILL — Whittier Tech juniors and seniors attended the Massachusetts Girls in Trade Conference and Career Fair in Dorchester last week.
On Nov. 9, 22 students from the school attended the event at IBEW Local 103 accompanied by engineering instructor Katie Szymaszek, guidance counselor Rachael Rossi and vocational coordinator Amanda Crosby.
The event was designed to inspire female students to pursue nontraditional careers in the trades historically pursued by men, and provide them with support and useful resources.
At the event, students networked with female professionals in various trades, learned about applying to the union, and explored job opportunities.
“It was a great opportunity to network with other females in the trades,” said Adail Saenz, a senior from Haverhill studying computer aided design/drafting.
“I enjoyed the session where panelists of tradespeople shared their experiences working in the trades as women and offered advice as we start our own journey,” Saenz added.
Students also heard advice from keynote speaker Maria Zammitti, a 2020 graduate of Whittier Tech, who has a successful career in the plumbing industry.
Whittier Tech Superintendent Maureen Lynch praised the event.
“It is important for our female students to know that they can excel in any trade regardless of whether that trade is traditionally dominated by men,” Lynch said. “Attending events like these gives our students the opportunity to connect with other women in the industry, hear about ways to succeed, and envision themselves in the trades. Thank you to all the women who supported this event and provided thoughtful advice.”
Vocational areas are considered nontraditional if people of one gender comprise fewer than 25% of those employed in that field.
Massachusetts Girls in Trade was launched in 2015 by a partnership of educational, governmental and union organizations with a shared goal of supporting and encouraging female career and technical education students and alumnae to pursue careers in the building trades.
The group’s mission is to help female students in middle school and high school — as well as recent high school graduates – to learn about and start careers in high-paying, high-skilled union construction trades, according to Whittier Tech.