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Lakeside construction camp for girls hopes more females enter male-dominated field

Posted at 6:00 AM, Jul 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-10 12:05:58-04

LAKESIDE, Calif. (KGTV) -- A summer construction camp in the East County for girls hopes it can build a future for more women to enter the male-dominated field.

Camp National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) started 15 years ago to give girls the opportunity to learn trades like carpentry, electrical, and plumbing.

"There’s only about 10 percent of the construction industry that are women and even fewer as tradeswoman at about three percent. Not only do we have a labor shortage, but we have a lack of representation," said Sarah Tull, a trustee for Future Construction Leaders Foundation, the nonprofit that runs the free annual camp.

The campers, ranging in grades 8 through 12, are given hands-on projects like building miniature homes, solar panels, and plumbing.

Camp leaders include industry professionals who help the girls during the week-long program.

"Everyone you see here are in construction industry whether contractor or subcontractor or a tradesman or women providing expertise," Tull added.

The camp started with about 15 girls and has now grown to a roster of about 100. There is now a waiting list to join for next year's camp.

"It also teaches them about teamwork, leadership, how to speak in front of people, and how to ask questions. We should always be exposing the younger generation to all of the available industries to show them it’s a viable career path,” said Tull.

For more information on the camp and how to sign up, visit Camp NAWIC.